Merit Badge Workbook Merit Badge History

Chess - In-Person Class Notes

Please be courteous and arrive early for registration and instructions PRIOR to your scheduled class start time. Remember that your Scout uniform is required to be worn when attending.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Chess Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference. Completion of any merit badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scout's completion of any merit badge requirements. Merit badge counselors may refuse to accept workbooks, but they are NEVER allowed to require their use.

The merit badge pamphlet has a wealth of information that provides valuable insight and clarification and can make earning any merit badge a lot easier. Doing preparation work and reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending will ensure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities.

If you have any additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners (Scoutmaster Bucky) via email at scoutmasterbucky@yahoo.com or via cell phone at 612-483-0665.

Things to remember to bring for this merit badge class:

  • Your BSA ID # (not your Scoutbook ID #)
  • If you do not have your BSA ID # (or did not provide it with your online registration) you will need a Merit badge blue card properly filled out and signed off by your Scout Leader
  • Chess Merit Badge Pamphlet
  • Scout uniform
  • Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to the Chess merit badge, which may also include a merit badge workbook for reference with notes
  • A positive Scouting focus and attitude

If you are unfamiliar with the Blue Card Process, please read and understand the Scoutmaster Bucky Blue Card Process.

Chess - Online Class Notes

Scoutmaster Bucky Online Class links will be sent out 12 to 24 hours prior to the class start time. Notification will be sent to the email address provided in the registration, so please make sure your email is correctly entered.

Please be courteous and arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled class start time. Ensure that your internet connection, camera, microphone, and broadcasting environment are working and optimal for class participation. Remember that your Scout uniform is required to be worn when attending.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Chess Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference. Completion of any merit badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scout's completion of any merit badge requirements. Merit badge counselors may refuse to accept workbooks, but they are NEVER allowed to require their use.

The merit badge pamphlet has a wealth of information that provides valuable insight and clarification and can make earning any merit badge a lot easier. Doing preparation work and reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending will ensure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities.

If you have any additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners (Scoutmaster Bucky) via email at scoutmasterbucky@yahoo.com or via cell phone at 612-483-0665.

Chess Merit Badge
Current Scouts BSA Requirements
as of January 25, 2023

Please make sure you read the top portion of this page for general participation expectations in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge class.

Pay careful attention to the action verbs within the requirements. An example to note:

"Tell", "explain", "describe", and "discuss" are commonly used and will require the Scout to perform these actions during the class. When these action verbs are a part of any requirement, Scouts are expected to be prepared to share. Reading responses is not acceptable since it does not fulfill the requirement of showing the Scout's knowledge and understanding.

1.
Discuss with your merit badge counselor the history of the game of chess. Explain why it is considered a game of planning and strategy.
Scouts should consider having this written out to show the counselor that some thought and research has gone into this requirement and Scouts should be prepared to discuss their findings. Scouts will not automatically be signed off on this requirement just for attending as the requirement states that they must discuss and explain their findings.
2.
Discuss with your merit badge counselor the following:
a.
The benefits of playing chess, including developing critical thinking skills, concentration skills, and decision-making skills, and how these skills can help you in other areas of your life
b.
Sportsmanship and chess etiquette
Scouts will engage in discussion on their findings during the class. Scouts should review the merit badge pamphlet book to have a better understanding of what this requirement is looking for them to understand. The counselor will facilitate discussion on this requirement during the class. It should be noted that only Scouts that actively, positively, and successfully participate in the discussion will be signed off on this requirement. Preparation is a must.
3.

Demonstrate to your counselor that you know each of the following. Then, using Scouting’s Teaching EDGE*, teach someone (preferably another Scout) who does not know how to play chess:

* You may learn about Scouting’s Teaching EDGE from your unit leader, another Scout, or by attending training.

a.
The name of each chess piece
b.
How to set up a chessboard
c.
How each chess piece moves, including castling and en passant captures
Scouts should be familiar with and be able to identify all the chess pieces and their proper movement and starting points. The Chess Merit Badge Pamphlet as well as the Scoutmaster Bucky Chess Merit Badge Workbook are must use references for preparing for these parts of the requirement. Component 3C can easily be reviewed through the use of the Merit Badge Pamphlet and Scouts should have a basic understanding of these terms and skill. The counselor will work with Scouts based on preparedness to execute the EDGE method part of this requirement during the class.
4.
Do the following:
a.
Demonstrate scorekeeping using the algebraic system of chess notation.
b.
Discuss the differences between the opening, the middle game, and the endgame.
c.
Explain four opening principles.
d.
Explain the four rules for castling.
e.
On a chessboard, demonstrate a “scholar’s mate” and a “fool’s mate.”
f.
Demonstrate on a chessboard four ways a chess game can end in a draw.
While this requirement will be reviewed in the class, Scouts will need to have reviewed the Chess Merit Badge Pamphlet for each of these components and at least have a basic understanding of these terms, skills, and methods as they relate to the game of Chess. It is highly recommended to utilize the Scoutmaster Bucky Chess Merit Badge Workbook to make notes when looking each of these components up and recording your findings for easy reference during the class.
5.
Do the following:
a.
Explain four of the following elements of chess strategy: exploiting weaknesses, force, king safety, pawn structure, space, tempo, time.
b.
Explain any five of these chess tactics: clearance sacrifice, decoy, discovered attack, double attack, fork, interposing, overloading, overprotecting, pin, remove the defender, skewer, zwischenzug.
For requirement components 5a and 5b, Scouts should prepare in the same way as they are recommended to prepare in Requirement 4.
c.

Set up a chessboard with the white king on e1, the white rooks on a1 and h1, and the black king on e5. With White to move first, demonstrate how to force checkmate on the black king.

For Requirement 5c, Scouts will be asked to set up their chess board and show the counselor their solution to the scenario. While time will be allotted during the class for this, it is recommended to make an attempt to review this component and apply some thought to a solution prior to the class. Beginner Chess players may find this requirement difficult depending on their level of understanding. This is a more advanced, beginner-level concept and practice in Chess. While every attempt will be made to assist Scouts in understanding and executing this component successfully, please note that like setting up a tent or building a campfire, there is some skill and reasoning that is involved and required to complete.
d.
Set up and solve five direct-mate problems provided by your merit badge counselor.
Requirement 5d, will be done in the class.
6.
Do ONE of the following:
a.
Play at least three games of chess with other Scouts and/or your merit badge counselor. Replay the games from your score sheets and discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.
b.
Play in a scholastic (youth) chess tournament and use your score sheets from that tournament to replay your games with your merit badge counselor. Discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.
c.
Organize and run a chess tournament with at least four players, plus you. Have each competitor play at least two games.
Requirement 6 will be completed in the class. The counselor will either be doing Requirement 6a or 6c in the class.
Requirement 6 sill NOT be completed a part of the online class, however Scouts able to provide proof of completion, completion to the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor / instructor, will be considered for sign off on this requirement. Be Prepared!