Monday, May 26, 2008

New Creation and Fun with Color

photos: Betsy Dynako

New Creation: a teaching unit for the Bb5 Sicilian.

First, a handout I go over and the kids are supposed to start memorizing, then scripted lesson plans to illustrate ideas and plans. Finally, a "memory markers" assessment/ review page (idea taken from the Perelshteyn/ Dzindi book) with key positions from the opening that kids have to remember.

Probably you need the Linares font to see diagrams. Sorry about that. If you know me or if you ask nicely, I'll email it to you. There's also some annoying minor formatting issues that I'm too lazy to fix.

Let me know if you find mistakes or have suggestions.


Tom Panelas said...


Would it be possible for you to take the handouts you have and convert them to PDF documents in which everything would display just as you see it (with the diagrams), then post those documents on the Web?

You don't need Adobe Acrobat to create a PDF doc. There are plenty of free conversion programs you can download. I use:

It works well. Once you have it downloaded and installed, the program appears as a printer in your printer menu. To convert a document to PDF you call up the document on your screen, hit File/Print, and then instead of selecting your usual printer you select this program, doPDF, hit OK, and it creates the document and saves it.

Would that make sense for these handouts?

Anonymous said...

Liz, it looks you've got a marketable book of your own in the making here. So, I recommend taking specific steps to protect your material via copyright, and not publishing it on the Web at all - where you're effectively giving it away to others who might print and sell it.

The material in this post goes light-years beyond the generic sort of chess instruction for kids that's fairly viewed as free, public-domain material. (I'm referring to stuff like how the horsey moves, how to mate with K+R, etc.)

I've already copied it into a Word file, and while I don't intend to steal/sell it myself, I might use it the same way I'd use a chess book I would have paid to buy.

I already have the Palliser book on Bb5 Sicilian, and tried and gave up employing the Moscow Variation because the main lines in his book (with Black playing ...e6 and ...d5, resulting in a pseudo-French formation with Black's only bad piece, the light-square-bishop, already traded off) didn't look that appealing for White.

Now, your matrial may spur me to give it another shot. So don't sell yourself short. (Still I must confess I wouldn't have purchased a book with you listed as the author. I admit that's plain old snob appeal, but I'm a victim of it as much as you are. Just this week I had to beg a GM - right after I'd defeated him in a game - to be my go-between to send a different game of mine to Chess Informant, since they won't look at anything sent in by a non-GM.)

Elizabeth Vicary said...

Thanks for the kind praise, anon1, but I'm happy to provide it if it helps children. Sharing lesson plans is pretty normal in the educational world, no? Also, if money was my main life objective, I'd be teaching in a private school.

If anyone reading this works in the public schools or other non profit areas, feel free to email me at (remove nospam obviously) and I'm happy to send you more lesson plans.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

Also, the handout is mostly written from the Palliser book (with additions from Dave Vigorito's lectures. I'm glad it's useful. :)

Elizabeth Vicary said...

Tom-- it wouldn't let me save the file unless i had Acrobat.

If people really would like this, I'm happy to do it, I'm just lazy. Leave me a message if you want this-- at five I'm download whatever and convert it.

Tom Panelas said...

Bummer about the PDFs.

Actually, though, any one of us could reconstruct the diagrams--right?--as long as we can read FEN notation and have software that can generate diagrams.

I find Fritz good for diagrams. Also

If I have the time I'll take a crack at one or two of the handouts, and if they come out nice I'll send them to you. Thanks for posting them.

Anonymous said...

wow - this is way beyond the level of teaching in our program! your students are lucky to have such a dedicated teacher! i appreciate you disseminating this information and would definitely use it at my school.

Anonymous said...


Really great articles.



Anonymous said...

The yellow & blue you is without question the most haunting work of art I've ever seen on a chess site.

As a person who changes desktop backgrounds more often then pants I have to say this one might be around a little bit.

Davy Do