Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A really good idea...

Part of the problem with scholastic chess, especially in the wild far west, where we just don't seem to have many if any chess tournaments, is that it is hard to keep playing through the summer time.

Now, yes, summer is supposed to be about swimming, hiking, and watching hours of it on television. And is hardly supposed to be about anything involving brain activity, it is difficult for those that have made a pact with their dad, that this is going to be the summer that they improve.

And part of improving is actually playing chess. Not the Internet, where nobody knows if you are screwing up. But a real tourney, where you keep score, and you get paired, and if you play well you walk away with some hardware, and if and when you lose, you can go over your game and figure out what happened.

Last year there was essentially nothing. This year, locally, Elena Donaldson and Georgi Orlov, have come up with a really good idea. During their chess camps, they have a rated tournament on Thursday of the week long camp. My best friend has his week, but it really is only one week, and then he wants to do soccer camp, id tech camp, and science camp, and spend time at the beach. Maybe even get in one of those videos. Anyways, they have decided to open up the tournament to all comers (presumably all scholastic comers). This is great for everyone. Parents get an easy day off. The kid gets real tournament experience. The tournament feels more real for the campers. And they make a few extra bucks in the summer doing what they were always going to be doing anyways. A good idea!

Maybe it will spread to your part of town.

More later...


likesforests said...

That's great that you found a way to get your son to participate in regular tournaments. That's also more social than playing online. My daughter watches my games with interest and she even sometimes moves the pieces for me, but she's a wee bit young to play chess. I'm curious, when did your son play his first game?

Loomis said...

I think your series of tactical positions that arise from 1. e4 e5 positions is quite interesting. It's probably good to learn those motifs in some generality since they arise from a lot of move orders. Here's one coming from a strange opening move order I played today: 1. d4 c5 2. d5 e5 3. dxe6 fxe6 4. e4 e5?? 5. Qh5+ Ke7 6. Qxe5+ Kf7 7. Bc4+ Kg6 8. Qf5#.

hisbestfriend said...

Thanks Loomis,

These positions are usually learned in the field of fire, I think that they concepts are important. They either show up as the basis of traps, or why you do or don't do certain things in the opening. I don't think they are that difficult to follow, but very little separate documentation...

hisbestfriend said...

Like Forests,

He has been playing for about 1 1/2 years. But he has been teaching my daughter who is in preschool. While she can set up the board, she hasn't quite showed an interest other than a sisterly one.

But he has always been serious enough, and went from beginner to advanced chess the first day. Which said something about him, and unfortunately too much about the school program.

wang said...

I think its great that they have done this. I have no kids, and all of my chess experience has been after adulthood, so i don't know much about chess camps, but it seems rather intuitive to me. You have a bunch of kids at camp, might as well have a tourney to try out their new found skills.

I would like to tell you that I really admire the premise of your site. When I was a youngster my dad used to call me his best friend. We are best friends to this day even though I've "grown up" and moved out of the house to the other side of the country over 18 years ago.

Good luck on your chess adventures.

BlunderProne said...

Going off topic... and at the risk of dating myself:

I fondly remember the TV series in the early 70's, The courtship of Eddie's Father which Harry Nillson's Theme song had a huge success ( "My Best Friend"). It was a decent show with Bill Bixby based on the 1963 Movie with a similar title. Harry had another song I was obsessed with in that same time period called " Me and my arrow" to which a short cartoon video was created as a result of the fame he got form "His Best Friend".

It was a nice warm fuzzy show. It seems like a good trend you have with your son as well.

Warm regards.


hisbestfriend said...

It doesn't date yourself beyond my ol' ass. And I always wondered why I couldn't have a nice lady working at the house, and an odd uncle. Ok, maybe I am glad I didn't have the uncle.

But I liked the song, it had a better father/son feel then The Cat's in the Cradle song.

We try and be friends even though, occasionally, I have to the dad.