Scholastic tournaments on school holidays

Holidays and breaks from school are a great time to hold scholastic tournaments since so many students are available. 34 students and 3 parents had fun playing in our Game Changer tournament today at the Triangle Chess Center while Wake, Durham, and Orange County schools were out.

You can give even more students a chance to play by holding a tournament at school on the afternoon of an early release day or on a teacher workday. For example, we had 122 students play in a tournament on an early release day before winter break in 2017. These events are convenient for parents, too.

Consider holding one at your school!

Bringing Moms to the Boards

It’s no secret that chess moms deserve a medal; after all, they lend steady support to their kid’s chess-playing efforts in many ways, not the least of which is by logging weekend hours perched on uncomfortable chairs in hotel lobbies, school cafeterias, or chess centers while their future grandmasters hone their skills over the board. But on October 9th, 18 chess moms flipped the switch and played for trophies when they chose to showcase their own (mostly newly acquired) chess skills at the first ever “Chess Moms Play Chess, Too” tournament held at Hunter Elementary School in Raleigh, NC and organized by my husband, Mark, and me. Read more about our event in this article I wrote for US Chess: Chess Moms Play Chess, Too

January 3 Tournament and Workshop

Does your child want to play more chess during winter break?

Register them for our Friday, January 3rd tournament! They will get more practice before the Triangle and NC Championships, and you will also help NC schools start chess clubs since the proceeds from this event will help support our Game Changer Program. You can play, too, since it is a “parents play free” event. We have added a quick-rated only section for higher rated players, so they can participate without affecting their regular USCF rating.

Interested in starting a chess club at your child’s school?

Please attend our free workshop which will be at noon immediately following the tournament. Experienced chess club organizers will answer your questions. We will also explain our Game Changer Program.

Please see our flyer and registration page for more information.

Chess Moms Can Play Chess, Too – October 9, 2019

We helped the Hunter Elementary School Chess Club in Raleigh apply for a grant from the US Chess Women’s Program to hold a “Chess Moms Can Play Chess, Too” event. Hunter was one of 11 programs in the country to be awarded one of these grants funded by a generous gift in partnership with the Saint Louis Chess Club.

WFM Anuprita Patil of the Kings and Queens Chess Academy will give a brief talk to start the event on October 9 (which is a WCPSS teacher workday).

Each woman participating will receive a ChessKid basic adult account, free entry to our Chess Moms tournament for themselves and their children (who will play in a separate section), and free entry to 2019-2020 Hunter chess tournaments. The first 25 women to register will also receive a one-year online USCF membership (a $40 value).

We will present trophies to the winners in each section of the tournament. We will also have some special prizes which we will announce at the event.

Our goals are to encourage more women to play chess and to have more parent volunteers who can play with children during chess club meetings and tournaments.

This flyer has more information: http://bit.ly/ChessMomsFlyer, and here is the link to registerhttp://bit.ly/ChessMoms

Chess in the park!

What a great way to kick off a new year of chess!

GM Magesh Panchanathan and WFM Anu Patil of Kings and Queens Chess Academy in Cary recently hosted their fun “Play Chess in the Park” event for the third year in a row. Lots of kids and adults enjoyed playing chess and solving puzzles outdoors. Beginners got lessons to learn how to play. Everyone had the chance to play against masters in a simultaneous exhibition. They also learned about the new events the Academy has planned for this year including:

  • Friday Fall League (1300+): Sept. 27 – Dec. 20, 6:30pm, G/90;d5, $5/each for members, $10/each for non-members
  • Cary Saturday Rapids (U1000): Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 26, Nov. 2, 16, Dec. 14, 21 4:30pm, G/30;+5, $20 members, $25 non-members
  • Cary Super Sundays (1000+): Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 22 10am, G/90;d5, $25 members, $30 non-members

Playing chess outdoors would be a great way for any club to kick off their year. It would be a fun way to celebrate at the end of year, too.

Play in a team tournament!

Many school chess clubs are getting started, so this is a great time to start planning to play in a team tournament with other schools. Team events are excellent first tournaments for students for several reasons:

  • they have fun playing with their friends
  • competing as a group relieves pressure that some students may feel (if they lose some, or even all, of their games, they can still encourage their teammates and contribute to the team’s success)
  • they can wear school t-shirts, sit together and enjoy snacks as a group between rounds, building school spirit
  • team events are usually generous with team trophies so schools have a good chance of winning something, especially if they have multiple teams

Team events are also good for coaches and organizers since announcing the team’s success (at school, in the PTA newsletter, etc.), displaying team trophies at school, and taking photos at the event for the yearbook are great ways to promote a chess club. Parents and teachers can also network with their peers from other schools and get ideas for improving their programs. You can enter most team tournaments with as few as 3 or 4 players on a team, so you do not need many students to get started.

You can choose from several team tournaments that the NC Chess Association already has in their K-12 tournament listing:

Please encourage your clubs to enter at least one team event this year!