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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Castling and the Eleven Plus

A rather special move that is used in chess is called castling. It is possible to castle on the King’s side or on the Queen’s side. In chess notation the King side move is known as O-O but on the Queen’s side it is written as O-O-O.

When you castle on the King’s side you move two of your own pieces at the same time. These are the King and the Rook. The King moves two squares to the right – and the Rook moves two to the left. The King is therefore on the Knight’s square and the Rook on the Bishop’s square.

When castling on the Queen’s side the King moves two squares to the left. The King is now on the Queen’s Bishop square. By moving two squares the Rook lands up on the Queen’s square.

Castling has a number of rules that need to be followed.

The King can not have been moved.

The King may be in check – or pass through check.

Any of the squares between the King and the Rook are occupied.

Why would a chess player want to castle? If the move is played early on the Rook is brought into the game in a highly effective position. The King is often protected from attack. Attack as well as defend!

This information could be invaluable to an eleven plus child. We are often told that we can recall facts and figures better if we can build some form of relationship using a range of devices. A different solution is to try to learn it all by heart. A mnemonic is one method used to try to improve the memory. This is a short rhyme or phrase to make the information easier to remember. We sometimes meet questions like these:

In each line below, the first word can be changed into the last word in three stages. Only ONE letter can be replaced at a time and proper words must be made each time. An example has been done for you.

Would it be possible to write a mnemonic to make this exercise more palatable for some children?

You may be able to deliver an Eleven Plus Check Mate if you could!

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