Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chess Camp Day 3

The weather took a turn for the worse today, but when you're a chess player that's usually a good thing as it means more indoor time. Unfortunately, today was scheduled as excursion day, which meant we spent quite some time outside. The day started with a round of tournament chess before breakfast, and there is no doubt that the games are becoming tougher as the tournament goes on. Any early nerves, or excitement are over and the kids are just getting down to fighting it out with other kids around the same strength. With every game a tough game, and with chances of the result going any way, I am even more convinced that round robin formats are the best test of skill for players.
I was impressed by this position today. Mikaela, as black is a pawn down, but found a way to become material ahead. Can you beat the tactical vision of a kid? Black to play and win.

After the morning game we took off on our excursion for the day. First stop was A Maze n' Things in the centre of Phillip Island. Besides having a very big fence maze (the biggest in Australia), there are lots of interesting attractions to explore, including sensory illusions. The kids had great fun going round this (the adults did too!) and then we held a blitz chess tournament through lunch which included a barbecue. The blitz session was held outside, which was a bit cold, but none of the kids seemed bothered and the tournament was hard fought with Max Phillips (1212) being the winner on 6/7.

First stop for the day

None of the players lost their heads during the day

Al fresco blitz tournament and barbecue
After the blitz, we all got back on the bus, and headed to Phillip Island's chocolate factory. As can be imagined, this brought great excitement to everyone. The chocolate factory has an interesting tour exploring how chocolate is made, it's origins, history, flavours, manufacture and some activities for kids (and adults) to take part in. Of course, there's a shop and cafe with many specialty chocolates and other goods for sale.

Chocolate sculpture of "David"

Chocolate Moose :D
After all that, and some sports when we arrived back at the camp (basketball, rock climbing), the kids still had the energy to go through another coaching session on endgames before the evening meal. I obviously can't speak for the other coaches, but the group I worked with tried really hard, and the session went very well (we were talking about minor pieces in the endgame, and the differences between knights and bishops.

It's been a pretty exhausting camp but thoroughly enjoyable. Tomorrow we will all be heading off home (though not before more games and coaching) and hopefully all the kids will be taking some fond memories away with them. Friendships have been developed, chess skills have been improved, and fun has been had by eveyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment