A+ Chess Puzzle
News and Updates
- Chess Puzzle is no longer a pilot event – it is now an official part of A+ Academics.
- The A+ Invitational materials set now includes Chess Puzzle.
- Contest materials for district meets are now ordered in the same format as other A+ events, and will be provided in printed packets (for orders submitted by prescribed deadlines).
- Texas Tech Chess has partnered with UIL to provide study and practice material for A+ Chess Puzzle. See the link below under Study and Practice Resources.
- Chess Puzzle is offered for grades 2-8 in three divisions: grades 2-3, grades 4-5 and grades 6-8. As with other A+ events, districts may choose to structure with these as combined divisions or may choose to offer a separate division for each indvidual grade level.
- Each division will take a 30-minute objective test plus a separate 5-minute tiebreaker section. A different test is provided for each of the three divisions. The tiebreaker section is identical for ALL divisions.
- All Chess Puzzle test questions are now multiple-choice format, to allow for a broader scope of questions and increase the educational value of the contest (and make grading even easier).
- Scoring is simple. For the main test and tiebreaker sections, contestants receive one point for each correct answer. There are no deductions for incorrect or unanswered questions. All grade levels will take the same tiebreaker section. Tiebreakers need only be graded for contestants actually involved in a tie.
Study and practice resources
- Resources provided by Texas Tech Chess
- Kid Chess
- Chess.com and ChessKid.com
There are thousands of other chess web sites available online, many that include chess puzzles, and many that are designed for kids.
What is Chess Puzzle Solving?
The benefits of chess are well documented for players of all ages, and especially for young people. Chess teaches problem solving, hones concentration and encourages analytical and strategic thinking. Chess can be a lifelong pursuit.
Chess puzzle competition is very different from tournament chess play. Contestants in a chess puzzle contest receive a paper-and-pencil test that includes a series of chess boards with pieces in particular positions. The contestant must then determine the fewest moves to checkmate given that particular board layout. Time is also a factor - contestants are scored based on the most puzzles solved in the least amount of time. See below for a sample test.
A chess puzzle event provides an avenue for chess participation that does not require the time and resources of actual tournament play. The fixed time limit makes it practical to include in a district meet schedule, and the availability of free resources allows any school (including those that do not currently have chess programs) to include chess puzzle in their slate of A+ events at minimal cost.