Chess Club

AIHEC Chess Tournament Details
Biographical Information on Dr. Anderson

PHL 132, Section 1 (3 credits)
“Critical Thinking: Ways of Knowing” (chess emphasis).
The class meets on Monday and Wednesday from 1:00-2:20 PM in BPL 138.

The class will combine chess and critical thinking.

Dr. Anderson will also continue the chess club at Blackfeet Community College for another semester. One does not need to be a member of the chess class to be a member of the chess club.

The initial meeting will take place on Monday, January 13th from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM in the commons (the chess class is on Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:20 PM). All are welcome from beginners and novices to veteran players.

Course Description

In this discussion-intensive seminar, students will learn critical thinking skills, and through speaking and writing activities engage in the process of social discourse. Students will examine their lives as agents of social change and explore what a higher education can mean to them in terms of personal growth and exploration, as well as career development.

In addition, said course will examine issues using the lens of the chessboard. The use of chess in literature and film is an integral part of the course. Chess and military strategy (flank attacks, short and long-term planning, permanent weaknesses, outposts, local superiority) are important parts of the course.

Chess will also involve critical thinking skills such as:

  • Problem-solving
  • Visualization
  • Synthesis
  • Analysis
  • Pattern recognition

Noted authors such as William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, Isaac Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lewis Carrol, Arthur C. Clarke, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ian Fleming, William Golding, George Orwell, J.K. Rowling, Isaac Singer, and Kurt Vonnegut all wrote stories about chess and/or made chess a main element of a story and/or mention chess in some of their work.

Thus, this class will focus on the role of chess in society via literature and film. Students will analyze how chess plays a role in diverse areas such as military strategy to science fiction.

Cultural Integrity

Guest speakers will address the class to share the Blackfeet worldview and its bearing on thinking processes. Students will be asked to share and/or develop their own Blackfeet approach to critical thinking.

Learning Outcomes/Course Objectives

  • Master study skills necessary for college success
  • Develop heightened self-awareness and the ability to think critically
  • Approach critical thinking from a Blackfeet perspective and scrutinize potential biases within what is defined as “critical thinking” by other cultures
  • Understand concepts and terminology related to critical thinking
  • Apply those abilities and concepts to personal, educational, professional, community, and national situations
  • Consider current and future educational opportunities
  • Communicate information and views effectively, both orally and in writing

Chess Related Goals and Objectives

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Accurately set-up a chess board
  • Name each piece and its relative value
  • Demonstrate the effective use of tactics:
    • Pins
    • Forks
    • Skewers
    • Undermine the defender
    • Clearance
    • Discovered attack
    • Discovered double check
    • Attraction
  • Demonstrate how each piece moves and captures
  • Demonstrate how to castle (and the rules involved)
    • King-side
    • Queen-side
  • Understand and implement the rules of chess:
    • Draw by repetition
    • Draw by agreement
    • Stalemate
    • Touch move
    • Touch take
    • Recording of moves (algebraic notation)
    • Use of time clock
  • Demonstrate check mate techniques:
    • Back-rank mate
    • Two-rook mate
    • Rook and king mate
    • Support mates
    • Rook and Bishop mates
    • Bishop and Knight mate
    • Epaulet mate
    • Bishop, Knight, and King v. King checkmate
    • Queen mates


Said student will be able to meet Goals 1-7 with a 80-100% efficiency. Students will also be able to successfully play in regional and national chess competitions. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) has their annual conference during Spring break and the goal is to field a competitive chess team for the AIHEC sponsored chess tournament.