Sunday, January 23, 2011

Australian Junior Championship Diary 5

As the tournament reached its final stages, so the preparation became more intense and the workload seemed to get higher. And although none of the kids I was coaching won any titles, they all performed in excess of the expectations. One of the key aspects in making this happen is setting goals and targets which are challenging but attainable. These goals can be set as a target score, or a target rating performance, though for each of my students it was a target score.

Giant Chess Set is very popular at the Party in the Park

Actually, I wasn't at the Championships today, I was at a 'Party in the Park' event in my home city of Glen Eira. It was a beautiful day to be playing and teaching chess in a park, though maybe it got a bit too hot at times (top temp of 29C). The event features a range of things from food stalls, to kids activities (bouncy castles, mini golf etc) and community and craft stalls with information and activities. Having a chess stall is a great way to promote chess, and while doing it you can meet some people.

Like for instance Phil from New York who likes an occasional game of chess and hot Indian food. We didn't actually play a game of chess but we did swap our favourite Indian restaurants in the area, and talked about chess in Washington Square Gardens in New York where open air chess is played. There was also a lovely lady called Mary Anne whose Father's birthday was today. Coincidentally my Mum's birthday is today, and that was all that was needed to start up a conversation that had nothing to do with chess at all, but more to do with the history of Melbourne.

Maybe not Washington square Garden's in New York, but still open air chess!

But saying that, there are plenty of people who want to play, or even learn. The youngest I tried to teach today was a 4 year old, but there were plenty of adults as well as kids having a go. And there are always a couple of fairly good players turning up and challenging me at these type of events. If you fancy having a crack, I'll be at the next Party in the park in 2 weeks time in Allnutt Park in Bentleigh.

The giant chess set is fun for all ages.

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