Christopher, Susan, and I played in the Global Concepts Charter School Chess Club “Spring Break Scholastic Chess Tournament” this Saturday. I have been looking for some time for tournaments where they could play other kids, and this one worked out well. The timing of the tournament was perfect, and the entry fee of $5.00 included pizza for lunch. Also, parents played free.
I got to play in the parent’s section, which was a non-competitive section for adults. I was the only “parent” who played regularly in tournaments, so I won easily. It was relaxing after competing in the Erie City Chess Championship during March, and finishing in the middle of the pack.
I have never been in a tournament where there were about 40 elementary school kids. The atmosphere sure is different from an “adult” tournament. It just isn’t as quiet for some strange reason.
Also, the kids play really fast. When the Tournament Director tells the players to start, the players move their pieces and punch their clocks so fast it sounds like popcorn popping. I watched one of Christopher’s games, and it quickly became “blitz chess,” with him and his opponent taking about 5 seconds for each move. Imagine what he could do if he stopped to think.
Here is a shot of the players at work.
The tournament had 3 sections for the kids. Christopher and Susan were in the same section, but they managed to avoid playing each other until the penultimate round. There is absolutely no sibling rivalry going on, ever. Here they are, up front, battling it out:
Christopher won that round, and went 6-0 to win first prize in the Under 500 rated section. Susan went 3-2, with one bye, and she won 3rd place in her section. She also has the distinction of being the only player who actually thought and wrote down nearly all of her moves. Christopher and Susan are at the lower right with their trophies.
The next time we play in a scholastic like this, Christopher and Susan won’t have to worry about playing each other, because Christopher will have to play in the next section up.