8 year old wants to improve his game

i amhis dad who wants to know how to go about coaching my son·im confused about what to focus on.

Given your own rating, focus on how the pieces move, how to give checkmate (as in, basic mates, mate in 1 puzzles) and how to develop your pieces sensibly. Other than that, just try to enjoy chess with him. Maybe that means watching/playing through entertaining games with him, maybe it means playing with him, maybe something else.

Something that will help him throughout his chess life is visualizing the board. Seeing in your mind the board, which color is e5 for example. In the best case you can ask him how a knight travels from b1 to e6 and let him solve it in his mind and check if it's right on a real chess board. Children are so much better at learning this than adults.

I must admit, this might be rather difficult and high-skilled if you just want to have fun and learn - but if you succeed in it, he will become really really good at tactics at some point.

So maybe start by asking "which color stands the white king at the beginning". He doesn't know - you two look at the board and figure out it's a dark square. E1 = dark square.

#7 no way. i new a guy who sent an 8 yo off on the knight's tour. if he's a young morphy, he'll do it. if he's not - forget it. so that covers 99.99999% of all kids. no knights tour. no what color is......... nope. unless you want them not to play no more chess... which might not be a bad thing, btw. and no 'losing is good for you' and beat his brains out. you really gotta connect with him, make it fun, LET HIM WIN --- DON'T JUST BEAT HIS HEAD IN (some promote this theory of crushing them, as it prepares them for......... life), play a little blitz, play some longer time controls, and when you make mistakes ---- here's a tip: tell him his opp just made a mistake, and let him find it, etc. i never minded it when i'd screw up in a game. it was a teachable moment.

however, very few seem to agree with how i teach kids. i taught for five years. none of my kids advanced very far in chess, altho they definitely at least played like chess players. so, that was wonderful. just,,,... maybe lots of mistakes, but that's normal... it was in a public library, a minority community, and i had some kids for several years. we had tournaments, etc. i had no expectation that any kid would advance very far in chess... woulda been nice, but i did not expect it. i tried to teach pretty open ended - like, not simplistic, but no over anlysis. they're kids.

but i taught them: chess is creative, a little opening theory (the opening is a race to develop pieces, have mobility, not waste moves), tactics, tactics tactics, beginning strategies, and also to be a good sport. i only got one kid i actually taught an opening to (the scotch), but he didn't get very far in it (alas). the rest, we just used a bastardized italian. eventually the library got a few of the reinfeld puzzle books, and a classic 'how to beat your dad at chess.' that is actually sort of an advanced book, in spite of it's title.

but ---- few seem to share my pov of teaching kids. woe is i, lol.

Also, another important question is: does he just want to play chess for fun as a hobby or wants to "improve" by meaning say become a great chess player.