3D animation of an old man at a chess set

Chess for Beginners

Learning and playing chess can help children mentally, but teenagers and adults can also benefit. So what about beginners who want to improve their chess skills?

Importance Principles for Early Beginners in Chess

  • Learn how to make a checkmate
  • Learn to avoid getting checkmated
  • Learn the values of pieces and don’t throw away material
  • Learn to see when your opponent blunders away material

The above four simple principles, when applied consistently, may allow an early beginner to soon win a game, provided the opponent is also an early beginner.

Chess Book for Beginners

The following is taken from the nonfiction book Beat That Kid in Chess:

Keep your king safe, especially in the early and middle of a game. After most of the pieces have been captured (and no queens are left), it may be important to use the king as a fighting force, but not when it can become in danger, especially not in the opening and middle game. Castle early in the game, to get your king closer to a safe corner. . . .

Take the lessons in this book seriously and your ability to play chess may advance further than if you had struggled through losing twenty games. It might not take the place of seriously struggling through eighty games, however, for over-the-board experience teaches in its own way. Yet you might soon see that kid struggle in competing with you, as you apply these lessons and teach that kid humility. It’s about time he learned that.


3D animation of an old man at a chess setFrom Geri’s Game by Pixar




Chess for Children

Studies have shown that playing chess can benefit children in a number of ways, and not just in potentially improving self confidence and self esteem. Playing chess can help kids improve concentration.

Chess in the Movies

A young boy sees men playing chess in a city park and is  fascinated by the game. . . . his father soon learns  that his boy has a natural skill with combinations. [the film “Searching for Bobby Fischer”]


Star Wars Book for Children

Many children enjoy this best selling picture book: Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, popular on Amazon for two years now. Of course the child who already has in interest in the Star Wars movies will probably be most interested in this science fiction book.

From the table of contents:

Who planned the Rebel assault on the first Death Star? Which surly alien lost an arm in a Mos Eisley cantina? The Star Wars galaxy is full of heroes, villains, aliens, creatures, and droids. All have played their part . . .

More than two hundred are included in this book, with only a few mentioned here:

  • Admiral Ozzel
  • Admiral Piett
  • Anakin Skywalker
  • Bantha
  • Battle Droid
  • Bultar Swan
  • C-3PO
  • Captain Antilles
  • Captain Typho
  • Chewbacca
  • Colo Claw Fish
  • Commander Bacara
  • Count Dooku
  • Crab Droid
  • Darth Maul
  • Darth Vader
  • Dwarf Spider Droid
  • General Grievous
  • General Veers
  • Han Solo
  • Imperial Droids
  • Imperial Red Guards
  • Jabba the Hutt
  • Jar Jar Binks
  • Jawa
  • Lando Calrissian
  • Luke Skywalker
  • Mace Windu
  • Naboo Guard
  • Nexu
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Palpatine
  • Pit Droid
  • Princess Leia
  • Queen Apailana
  • Qui-Gon Jinn
  • R2-D2
  • Rancor
  • Rebel Trooper
  • San Hill
  • Sandtrooper
  • Scout Trooper
  • Shmi Skywalker
  • Shock Trooper
  • Snowtrooper
  • Space slug
  • Yoda

And many more


Two hundred plus characters included in this Star Wars picture book, including heroes, villains, and robots

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia – hardcover book



Child Care in Long Beach

. . .  licensed family daycare home that has given over twenty years of loving secure care for children in Long Beach, California . . .


Options for Child Care Around Lakewood, CA

The following are child care businesses in and around Lakewood, California:


Tutor Time Child Care Learning Centers, 6504 East South Street, Lkwd

Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. — Programs for children between the ages of 6 weeks – 12 years. Cost not shown online.


Wonderland Preschool, 10440 Artesia Blvd, Bellflower, CA

“We accept ALL subsidy programs including . . .”


Smith Family Daycare, 5737 Canehill Avenue, Lakewood

Total Capacity: 14 Children (home)


Mrs Shirley’s Child Care, 17727 Eric Avenue, Cerritos, 90703

[They might not have their own web page]


Mimis Daycare, 11209 Agnes Street, Cerritos, CA

 [No obvious web site found]


Little People Destined For Greatness Universal Preschool, 5327 Iroquois Avenue, Lkwd 90713

“. . . a Child-Care/Universal Preschool that ventures beyond the traditional child care services while maintaining its ability to deliver high-quality.” [near Candlewood and Palo Verde]


Whitcomb Family Daycare, 4503 Walnut Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807

The principle providers have over sixty years of combined experience in child care — highly recommended by parents and referred to by Children’s Home Society of California — between Bixby Knolls (Long Beach) and Lakewood — full-time weekly rate is usually $150. Daily rate normally $35. Free piano lessons and free chess lessons. Call 562-427-6027.




Child Care Options

Let’s begin with costs and look at some typical choices in Long Beach, California, and surrounding neighborhoods.

Child Care in Long Beach, California

Children often enjoy stories for their age group, with giant story-books a favorite in this Long Beach, California child care home. Sometimes an audio recording enhances the drama.

Cost of Child Care

. . . there are two kinds: full-time and part-time. Full-time usually means Monday-Friday and is normally $150-$160 per week, depending on child-age, and hours.


Learning in Home Child Care

Intellectual development in preschool children—that’s a worthy subject. What methods are most effective in stimulating mental growth in small children? Several tools are available in the Whitcomb Family Daycare in Long Beach, California (in the Bixby Highlands neighborhood, which is east of Bixby Knolls).

Reading to Children

Many youngsters enjoy having a grownup read to them, but the books need to be mostly appropriate to the age of the children. For the youngest preschoolers, the toddlers, a book need not contain many words of text. Pictures are important.

In the fold-out book Where’s Spot, by Eric Hill, a typical page has about five words. The fun for little ones is in unfolding the pictures. A two-year old could be enthralled by that book.

Chess Lessons in Child Care

In the Whitcomb Family Daycare, children are given the opportunity to learn to play chess, or improve their abilities with the game. Those chess lessons are free of charge, for kids enrolled in this home child care.

It may seem surprising that a study has shown that one of the benefits of playing chess, for children, is improvement in social skills. How can such an intellectual game advance ones ability to communicate and interact with people? It probably comes from traditional playing of chess, from getting involved with one or more other persons who enjoy the game.

Free Piano Lessons in Long Beach

In the above-mentioned care-home in Southern California, piano lessons are provided free of charge. Learning to play a musical instrument can help a child develop deep-seated mental capacities that only a few other intellectual activities can duplicate.

Of course, the child needs to have the desire to learn music; it cannot be forced from the outside without a distinct possibility of a negative reaction. But when a youngster is willing and prepared to practice, learning to play the piano can be fun indeed.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Another activity can be mentally stimulated: solving jigsaw puzzles. We just need to remember that there are various levels of difficulty and children need the right puzzle to keep interested and not get discouraged.

Dinosaurs and pterosaurs appear when children solve this jigsaw puzzle in Long Beach, California, near western Lakewood

A dinosaur jigsaw puzzle solved by these three kids


Books for Preschoolers

Here a care giver reads [the] book The  Luckiest Leprechaun to a preschooler  in this Long Beach, California, child  care home.

Chess for Children

In a study by the New York City Schools, it was found that “Chess dramatically improves a child’s ability to think rationally . . . increases cognitive skills . . . improves children’s communication skills . . .

Long Beach Child Care

Children in the Whitcomb child care home are given opportunities for social growth as they learn to get along together in play and activities [including chess]. They learn how much they have in common, even with the different cultural backgrounds of these children.

Piano Lessons in Child Care

Kids need useful learning experiences, and that includes more than just physical exercise: intellectual exercise. Learning to play the piano is one of those intellectual exercises.


Piano Lessons in Child Care

How can a home-based child care business afford to pay a piano instructor to give music lessons to the children? At Whitcomb Family Daycare, in Long Beach, California, two solutions solve the problem:

  1. One of the child care providers is a piano teacher
  2. One of the professional child care assistants is a piano teacher

Piano lessons are being emphasized in this daycare home in Los Angeles County, especially now that summer school break is beginning. Kids need useful learning experiences, and that includes more than just physical exercise: intellectual exercise. Learning to play the piano is one of those intellectual exercises.

Piano instruction details depend on the particular child. Young preschoolers with no previous lesson on the keyboard receive simple help appropriate to their ages. Older children receive help at their level.

For more information about music lessons (and chess lessons) in this family child care home in Long Beach, call Gladys Whitcomb: 562-427-6027. The California state license is #191604310


Free Piano Lessons in Long Beach, California

Piano lessons also help children  to concentrate better. Reading  music requires focus (the same  can be applied to chess lessons),  and how many children need to  focus better in school!

Reading in Child Care

[re. reading to children] . . . The most dramatic results come from beginning the reading very early, even before the child is twelve months old. But whatever the age of a preschooler, an adult’s out-loud reading of a children’s book can improve that child’s opportunities for intellectual growth and preparation for school.