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Chess is in the news this week: Recently, the reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen, accused a competitor, Hans Niemann, of cheating during a tournament earlier this year. A few days ago, Carlsen resigned after just a single move in a highly anticipated rematch with Niemann, leaving the chess world stunned. While Carlsen’s allegations haven’t been proven, it’s possible your child has heard something about this scandal and may have questions.

The first point to address is that cheating is, quite simply, wrong, and kids should feel empowered to speak up if they’re in a situation where a playmate or peer has broken a rule meant to preserve fairness and respect. At the same time, we teach our students never to give up on a game. We try to instill a “growth mindset” in children, the belief that setbacks like losing an important piece mean they simply haven’t succeeded yet.

Lots of our students look up to Magnus Carlsen; he’s always been a brilliant player and a great ambassador for the game. If your child is wondering how to feel about the whole situation, consult your tutor on how to navigate the subject. Our tutors are experts at helping children overcome the emotional ups and downs that come along with playing chess. And it never hurts to remind your kids: Whenever we play chess, we always try our hardest and shake hands at the end, no matter what.

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