I'm a professional chess trainer, specialized in training young children age 6-10 years old. Most of them are absolute beginners, or play chess max1-2 years.
The studies in Lichess give me great opportunities for online lessons in corona times. If children have some (say 1+ year) of chess experience it works great.
But for the absolute beginners (6-7-8 years old) I have some requests. If implemented it would in my view greatly improve Lichess as a platform for trainers of young children.
1. I want children to be able to play simple positions against each other (or against the trainer in a simul). With that I mean: without Kings, with the possibility of making illegal/incorrect moves including taking the opponents King (the children have to correct each other, not the chess intelligence of Lichess), with the possibility to ad flags, coins, easter eggs in several colours, carrots (whatever) that the pieces have to take. It should be simple to implement: ad an option 'disable chess intelligence'. Maybe in 2 versions: 1: play without Kings, but with only allowing legal moves and 2. also allowing illegal moves.
It's not necessary to be able to play these positions against the computer. It would require specific programming because every game has different objectives (instead of mating the King).
2. It would be of enormous help if Lichess offers a demo board without any chess intelligence. It's like the board to setup a position, but without control of the position. Again (see 1) with the possibility to add flags, coins, easter eggs, circles, arrows in several colours.
It would greatly improve the flexibility of the trainer during a live lesson.
3. It would be nice to be able to make exercises where only one side can make (multiple) moves. For instance: check the king in 3 moves, but only by putting your pieces on safe squares. Or: Take the flag as fast as you can. (In a position with only 1 piece and a flag.)
4. In the puzzle section (great recent additions by the way) you can choose puzzle themes and set the level of the puzzles. But there are only 5 different levels. The easiest level is still much to difficult for beginners. For instance: practicing taking unprotected pieces is very useful for beginners. But only in simple positions, without misleading moves etc. Let's say: rating 0-200. I've made a study with this exercise: lichess.org/study/1a0td8C9 In this study the positions are already with a lot of pieces. For beginners I would make them even simpler.
Why not make it possible to set a rating range? And why not ad puzzles with a lower rating to the database? By the way: this works great in chess.com. But in chess.com the attributes of a puzzle (puzzle themes) are a mess. In Lichess it's much better.
I'm curious to know want you think of these suggestions.
Keep up the good work.
Playfair (Bas van Esch, Chess trainer in the Netherlands)
how long did it take you to write this.. this book?
if you hover over learn at the top and press chess basics theres some stuff there including "chess pieces" which is where you can move 1 piece multiple times and try to get to the star/s as fast as possible and below that in fundamentals theres positions where you have to achieve 1 goal other than checkmating, the other ideas sound really good but... im not lichess so i can't really help lol
Hi bas you are the best teacher I have bas
I love it! I can imagine that suggestion 3) would be a part of lichess.org/learn/.