Acorn Chess for Tutors

How to be successful using Acorn Chess in lessons

Preparation for a lesson

Select positions to use

There is a rich library of mini-games and endgames included with Acorn Chess. They are ready to use in a lesson. If you need more then follow the next two steps.

Library set up

Set up one or more libraries to use in your lessons. Libraries can contain existing mini-games, custom created ones and other standard chess positions like endgames and tactics.

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Set up custom mini-games

To set up a custom mini-game select 'Tutor->Set up position'. You can either set up a new mini-game from scratch or load in an existing one and edit the position and rules to meet your needs.

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Sharing over a web conference

Make sure that the web conference tool you are using is set up to 'share all windows from an application'. Zoom preferences example shown.

During a lesson

Web conference sharing

Share just the Acorn Chess application not your entire desktop. Make sure to have followed the last step above in preparation.

Select playing level

If you don't want the computer to play the moves automatically select 'No engine. Human vs Human'. Children also really enjoy playing against the lower levels and beating the computer.

Keep it interactive

Ask the students which move they want to play in the position. Discuss the suggestions and make the move for them in Acorn Chess. Moves can always be taken back if they want to try an alternative. Can even ask students to use annotation feature in the web conference app to mark squares they want to move to.

Enable board annotation

Select 'Tutor->Enable board annotation' from the menu to allow highlighting of squares and drawing arrows using a right mouse click. Pressing keys such as Control and Alt whilst right clicking and/or dragging allow you to have 3 different colours of highlights.

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Showing endgames

Endgame positions especially King/Pawn endgames are often decided by whose turn it is to move. You can select 'Tutor->Switch side to move' from the menu to illustrate what happens if it is the other side to move first.

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