Despite its title, Chesskid.com is not just for kids, but is a great free learning resource aimed at beginners initially but progressing to a high level. Videos and exercises are of high quality and interactive and free up to a certain level, although the presentation is aimed at kids.
While we are not currently doing everything listed below, the article does give ideas for what we could do if we had enough people to help.
Chesskid.com offers a safe environment where kids can solve puzzles whose difficulty increases in line with the growing tactical skills of the kid. They can also receive interactive lessons, watch fun educational videos and even play games online. Coaches can give assignments, view reports cards to track students` progress, promote tournaments and competitions and review the kids` games. The safer aspect of chesskid.com lies in the fact that kids can only send messages to other kids and adult coaches in the same club and not to strangers. A summary of the safety features of chesskid.com can be found here: Safety features of chesskid.com.
In March 2020 when the club was closed to minimize risks due to the Coronavirus, we created usernames for all junior members, to allow them to continue learning and improving from home. They are all now members of Skerries Kids Training Club on chesskid.com.
We encourage any parent who wishes to, to become a guardian of their child, so that they too can monitor their child's activity, who they send messages to etc., like the coaches can. All you need to do is login as a free member yourself and send us an email asking us to add you as an additional guardian of the child, quoting the email address you gave when joining chesskid.com.
Go to chesskid.com. Login using the username and password you were given by email (on 17/3/20 or later) or email John if you have forgotten yours or would like him to create one for you.
Click on Home, then on the settings icon (like a gear cog) beside your avatar (picture) above your username, then click on the tick/pencil in a box beside Password to edit it. To change your username just email as above with the request. The new username should start with your first name and first letter of your surname anyway.
Free members are able to do lots of things on the ChessKid site, e.g. they can do 3 puzzles per day, can do puzzle battles and can watch the beginner level videos. They can play against their clubmates and others, as well as taking interactive lessons up to the level of Quuen 9. This is plenty to begin with. However if a child wants to continue beyond Queen 9 to do levels King 1 - 99 then they need Gold Membership. Currently (March-April 2020) new members are being offered annual Gold membership for $29 (cut from the usual $49). This is about €26 currently. The club will also further subsidise this with €10 off next season's club membership to any kid who is a Gold member of ChessKid in September. So if you are a new Gold member you will effectively pay €13 provide you rejoin SCC next season. Personally I would not purchase Gold for a kid unless they have reached level Queen 9 in lessons or are using the site a lot and are keen to do more puzzles than Puzzles and Puzzle Duel allow them to do as a free member. That's a good incentive for them to reach Queen 9 also.
On chesskid.com to purchase Gold membership click on the banner on any page to "Upgrade to Gold". Then ask for €10 off the Skerries Chess CLub membership fee next season. Be aware that the membership autorenews next year unless you send them an email via Contact on the site.
The Club launched the first contest for the Skerries Kids Training Club on chesskid.com in November 2017. The first 3 kids with the most number of puzzles passed (with a minimum 30% pass rate) within 2 weeks from Tuesday 29th Nov won a prize. To take puzzles, they simply have to login, click on Learn, and then on Puzzles. The level of the puzzles is customized: kids who are still learning will get easier puzzles, kids who are advanced will get more difficult puzzles, so the contest is very fair. Kids can even check the leaderboard of the club and see how they are doing. Free members can take up to 3 puzzles per day and while Gold members can take unlimited puzzles per day and will compete in separate contests. If you can encourage your kid at home to use chesskid.com they will become better players and get more enjoyment from playing and learning.
In April 2017 Marco Mancosu wrote: "The club decided to sponsor gold membership of chesskid.com as a teaching tool for coaches and as a learning platform for a number of members of the club. As chesskid.com is a premium platform, after a trial period the club should decide whether chesskid.com will be supported in the next academic year 2017-2018. We are currently running a trial. Our next step would be to evaluate the possibility of involving some of the coaches of the club (who could assist specific kids in their activities on chesskid.com) and expand the trial to a few more kids. Ultimately, we should assess the interest of the kids in the trial, their commitment, and the usefulness of the platform for the club`s coaching strategy. I am of the opinion that some of the kids in the trial who used chesskid.com in the last few weeks have shown great interest and have progressed considerably in the chesskid.com curriculum, in learning tactics and the fundamentals of play which in the medium to long term should reflect in a significant improvement in their club ratings." [Marco Mancosu - May 2107]