Our virtual chess school is based on the special methodology of chess playing for children. It was developed by A.Y. Gabbazova, a chess instructor and FIDE Master, and comprehensively tested at chess lessons at the physical - mathematical Lyceum N 38 (Ulyanovsk, Russia). The complete technique is presented in a schoolbook "We are learning to play chess"; it takes into account the modes of information processing by young learners and includes pedagogical principles, which assist children in their intellectual progress.
Learners of primary school are at the specific operational level of their intellectual abilities (G. Piage). It means that they are more successful in carrying out the actions with particular objects and their images, i.e. their image memory and involuntary memorization procedures prevail (P.I. Zinchenko, A.A. Smirnov). E. Jensh and L.S. Vygotsky also note that memory, reasoning and imagination of young learners are mostly eidetic.
Taking into account main characteristics of young learners' cognitive development, the chess curriculum includes different information encoding languages (J. Brunner, M.A. Holodnaya):
interactive (children work with real diagrams, play with a computer and partner);
graphic (the most of information is graphic and presented as diagrams and patterns (models);
symbolic (chess notations and algorithms to solve the problems).
The chess curriculum includes the tasks of forecasting the educational information and of incomplete or redundant conditions that initiate learners' thinking.
The training is organized so that pupils automatically memorize the necessary information: by transition from one information encoding language to another; by providing the main concepts with schemes; by including an emotionally-rich material; by performing the tasks of positioning of the pieces with so-called "generation effect" (Zinchenko P.I.).
The training focuses on understanding the studied material and on the ability to solve the similar creative chess problems.
Learners can play with a "robot". They can choose their partner according to one of the three game levels.
The designed rating system solves the following problems:
- creates an extra motivation to train at school;
- estimates the learning progress;
- allows comparison of your results with the other results, and thus form an adequate self-evaluation.