Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by matt_ward » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:22 pm

Hello All, I have been thinking recently, about how chess clubs and that in the local areas can publicize chess to try and make younger players join the club within the local area. The reason I say this because from what I have witnessed apparently most clubs I have joined do not seem to get enough younger players.

I mean there are two clubs in which are every good for the number of juniors they have Sandhurst, and Guildford. Both of which I am a member of myself; basically the conclusion I have come to should more clubs hold internal club competitions for the younger players, and perhaps other social activities also while playing chess at the club.

For example Sandhurst are a brilliant club, they for example have their own Website http://www.sandhurstchessclub.co.uk/.

Besides this they basically have so many titled players which I think also helps bring the younger players along as they therefore feel in a more confident environment around stronger players and they feel honored to play for that club.

Another thing is that this club Sandhurst", hold pizza nights and KK crispy kreame doughnut nights, as well as the club give coaching every once in a while.

Well the point I am trying to make is what do people feel about chess clubs do they hold enough other social activities and do they advertise enough to encourage more youngsters to start playing chess at an early age. I mean Sandhurst are the best club I know for encouraging youngsters.

1. They have titled players.
2. They hold pizza and Crispy Kreme doughnut nights.
3. They hold coaching
4. They also do internal club competitions for youngsters.

If anyone else has any views regarding this I like to hear from you.
Kind Regards Matt. :D :D :D

Scott Freeman
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:42 am

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Scott Freeman » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:38 pm

I like to think we have an excellent structure for juniors at Coulsdon (Surrey). If I include all Super League (internal team event) players, the membership of our adult club last winter season was around 138 and about 40 of them were juniors. I am expecting the ration to at least mantain this year with a number of decent juniors attracted by the internal structures we provide and am expecting players as young as 8 to be playing in a number of our "adult" club events. Part of the reason for the success of the club is that everything is centrally arranged and our main focus is on developing internal competitions which provide what our members want. Points of interest:
* We have a centrally arranged club championship with several divisions FIDE rated.
* An extra club tournament (called the World Cup - with an appropriate replica trophy!) which is designed to give players a range of random opponents in a group phase followed by a knock-out tournament.
* 5 Speed Chess nights every season which include a team RP league, RP Individual and Blitz Individual games.
* An internal team (Super League) event with 2 division sof 8 teams and average grade limitation.
* We also have a FIDE Rated Super League (for rated players only) which happens on 5 allocated Wednesday nights.

That doesn't take into account the junior club (training and matches) which usually involves around 20-30 children every Monday.

With credits into our internationals on offer to those who finish high in the top division of our club championship, the structure is there for a young player to join the club and work their way through to a title without ever having to play a game of chess outside of our venue (albeit that other events are essential for development).

http://www.ccfworld.com/Chess/ChessClub ... bIndex.htm is the home page for the chess club part of our activities.

matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by matt_ward » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:42 am

Hi Scott, that is very promising to know I remember someone telling me about Coulsdon before about the excellent amount of young players playing in the london leagues. I imagine correct me if I'm wrong but this is because of the big amount of title holding players that play in these leagues.

Well Scott lets hope in time more clubs like yourself the one you run more people will invest time and commitment into encouraging more individuals around 6-18 age group of playing chess.

It is a shame most young players by the time they reach 16-18 they do not bother playing chess anymore.

matt.

Andrew Camp
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:18 am
Location: Colwyn Bay

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Andrew Camp » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:30 pm

My chess club is run as a school extra-curricular activity. It is my view that any Preparatory School worth its salt should have a chess club. I run the club three times a week:

1) Tuesday lunchtime for children in Year 2 (aged 6) to learn the game and to play socially away from older and more able kids. (Bear with me here)

2) Thursday after school for all kids aged between 7 and 11. We begin in a classroom where I will have prepared lessons and problems on Fritz 12 and will show them on the whitescreen. We discuss and argue and solve problems. Each child has a folder given to them for free and I hand out a photocopied (self-prepared) sheet with 6 problems to solve for next week. This will all be based upon a similar theme is 'find the fork' or 'White to mate in 2' etc. Children then go to the Dining Hall to play each other and to try out the ideas studied in the classroom.

3) Friday after school for all kids aged between 6 and 11. The kids I coach on Tuesdays can now join the older ones and play. This session is classed as more relaxed and will have little group coaching involved. Children simply find an opponent and play.

Throughout the year, I hold several tournaments.

Lightning events - 10 minutes each on the clock to introduce players to Swiss tournaments.
A Christmas Event held on a Saturday - 30 mins on the clock.
Parents v Kids social event.
A school House competition.
THE SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS to crown an annual school champion.

In all events, I give prizes to the best boy and girl in every year group. This amounts to 10 medals. We also offer prizes at every event for excellent performances, most improved players and slow-starters etc. All entrants to any competiton receive a certificate. We also give out chocolate chess sets as prizes at Christmas.

The school champion receives his/her trophy at the end of year Speech Day, when trophies are given out for all areas of school life, academic, sporting and other extra-curricular activities. This places chess at least on a level with activities such as rugby and netball etc.

Added to all of this, we also enter other competitions:

UKCC
Cheshire and North Wales events
EPSCA Primary Schools Tournament
Junior 4NCL (starting this year)

We also took 6 players to the London Chess Classic last year and aim to double that this year.

We have a display board for news and results and often I will put on CD Roms such as Fritz and Chester at the end of the day rather than read a story - kids, even non-chess players love this and are inspired to take up the game. In a school of about 250 kids, about 90 of them played chess last year at some time. We had an interactive display board this year for the World Championship between Anand and Topalov so kids could keep up with the action take copies of the games home to play out on their boards.

As a school, we now provide several children for the county team and have become the point of contact for North Wales players who we then funnel through to C&NW.

Three of our kids have accompanied my family to weekend congresses to play against adults and experience the fun of a weekend away playing chess.

Sorry for rambling but I do get passionate about this.
Chairman of North Wales Junior Chess Association
northwaleschess@aol.com

matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by matt_ward » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:40 pm

Andrew this is brilliant, I respect you somewhat for all your hard work. I am hoping in due course to be able to help students at my club. I.E. Hold some competition I will have to run it past the club secretary.

I am also this year hoping to run a few teams for my club. Which should be awarding I do enjoy chess although I am more looking to help people this year because I think chess should become part of school education. Has it not be proven to help childrens behaviour etc, etc.

Matt.

Andrew Camp
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:18 am
Location: Colwyn Bay

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Andrew Camp » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:42 pm

A few kids with special education needs joined my club last year and all of their teachers and parents have told me that they have seen a marked improvement in their concentration and general behaviour since learning chess. I cannot quantify this in any way but this is what is being reported.
Chairman of North Wales Junior Chess Association
northwaleschess@aol.com

matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by matt_ward » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:55 pm

Yes thats great! I do also believe this is a great help with childrens behaviour and concentration. Although the only thing you have to be slightly careful with is chess does not affect their education. But in general if they play chess moderately it will definitely be beneficial to their education.

I think their is alot to gain for people playing chess. I think people that play chess at an early age should be taught the Etiquette of the game and how to play in a responsible manor. This would probably sort alot of people out and would see less incidents while playing.

Matt.

Andrew Camp
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:18 am
Location: Colwyn Bay

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Andrew Camp » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:58 pm

Teaching chess etiquette is a big part of my coaching.

Cannot say the same of many others though.

I was watching a game yesterday and a kid picked up his rook on e8 and took his opponent's Boshop on e2. In mid-take he realised that he was going to lose his Rook so he put it and the Bishop back. His opponent told him that he had touched the bishop therefor must take it.

"No I didn't," he replied. Blatant black is white lying. I steamed in and made hi take the Bishop.

Another time, I watched a kid pick up his pieces, move them, change his mind, say 'adjust' and put it back. Young kids get so intimidated by this and often let it go. What chance do arbiters have when kids will blatantly lie to them about what has happened?
Chairman of North Wales Junior Chess Association
northwaleschess@aol.com

matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by matt_ward » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:04 pm

Yes this sort of thing happens regularly unfortunately I mean its absurd that people get away with it. I do not comprehend how people get away with it to be honest. Then again at tournaments people do not tend to complain about it to an arbiter if it is a youngster touching a piece then moving a different piece.

I have found this most regular incident occurs while playing in rapidplay tournaments from what I have witnessed.

Matt.

Scott Freeman
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:42 am

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Scott Freeman » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:48 pm

Matt Ward wrote:
Hi Scott, that is very promising to know I remember someone telling me about Coulsdon before about the excellent amount of young players playing in the london leagues. I imagine correct me if I'm wrong but this is because of the big amount of title holding players that play in these leagues.

Matt
We don't play in the London League. We had 2 teams in the Surrey league last year and one in the Croydon League (we once had 10 teams in the Surrey League) but the vast majority of members (and juniors) in the club play in the World Cup event we run rather than the team matches. Our team total is likely to drop again slightly for next season as a higher percentage of our members opt for the internal events.

Other posts comment about kids giving up chess after Primary School. I believe 90% minimum do (probably more). And several more choose to drop chess as time goes on and other interests and exams take their time. By the time you get to the age of 18, I suspect 99% have gone. Much of that can come down to peer pressure but those that really want to play usually keep going. I suspect our club (and others like it) probably keep some going a bit longer but I am not sure it is a problem that can be easily solved.

Talking about other activities, outside of our "club" we coach in about 50 schools each week and run a range of tournaments for those involved, such as the English Chess Challenge and the Champions' League Chess (School Team event in local zones in the Autumn & Spring followed by a Summer Term final). We finish the year (as we did on Saturday) with the CCF Junior Championships which has the added attraction of the CCF Trainers' Championship where their trainees scores lead to a trophy presentation to the highest scoring trainer. The kids love it!

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 4310
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:33 am

"Teaching chess etiquette is a big part of my coaching."

Good! Unfortunately, the cheating and bad behaviour is not confined to (a minority of) the players. Parents, coaches and arbiters have been known to infringe as well. I have had obnoxious parents trying to bully me into awarding games to their offspring or change the draw to suit them. In fairness, some of the juniors have looked rather ashamed of their parents...

Just before I was appointed as an arbiter, I was helping at a tournament, did the draw for the next morning and went home. When I arrived next morning, I noticed it had changed. The Chief Arbiter approached and said he had found a small error, so changed part of it.

"Yes" I replied, "I notice your daughter is now white against a 120, instead of black against a 160."

"Oh is she? I didn't notice."

I regret to say I didn't believe him...
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Matthew Turner
Posts: 3342
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:05 am

Lots of very interesting comments here. I absolutely agree that teaching etiquette is very important, but we also have to recognise that society sends some very mixed messages to kids. If you clip a ball in cricket and are caught out, should you walk? A lot of people would say that there is an umpire to make decisions and you get some good decisions and some bad ones, it all evens out. Is this any different to touching a piece and not moving it?
Try an experiment youreselves, ask your next chess club, or group of youngsters, if Wayne Rooney falls over in the penalty box without being touched and gets a penalty, is he cheating or just helping his team? You might be surprised by the answer.
There have been a number of comments about chess helping children with special educational needs. This is certainly true and chess can be helpful, particularly with children with weak organisational skills. However, we also have to recognise that the vast majority of chess clubs are not geared up to deal with children with behavioural problems. I think we have to be prepared to say that special educational needs occur across the spectrum of abilities and chess can actually be quite useful at addressing the educational needs of gifted and talented youngsters!

User avatar
Gavin Strachan
Posts: 676
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:06 am
Contact:

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Gavin Strachan » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:18 am

We struggle with juniors (we do have them), but for training and coaching it is a nightmare. A lot of barriers to overcome still such as getting someone/people to do it and CRB checks being the main ones. So we haemorrhage juniors as we find it particularly difficult to retain them which I think is sad. A lot of juniors do stuff through the EJCA (Essex Junior Chess Assoc), but linking them with the clubs is a bit of a challenge which I tried to tackle but had little success.

Andrew Camp
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:18 am
Location: Colwyn Bay

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Andrew Camp » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:59 am

Any form of unfair play (cheating) disgusts me and this is across life's spectrum. It is the main reason why I cannot watch soccer anymore.

If a batsman knows he hit the ball, he walks. Simple as that. Umpire is not necessary in this instance. If I knew I was out but stayed in because the Umpire did not see it, then I would feel any runs I scored afterwards are tainted and non-existant. To stay in knowingly is cheating and you can argue that 'it levels out over time' as long as you like - it changes nothing for me. On the other side, if I do not edge the ball but the Umpire says I did, then so be it. Nothing I can do and I certainly would not use this as an excuse not to walk next time just to balance things out. It's just the way I am and I feel I'm slipping more and more into a tiny minority.

I will ask my kids the 'Rooney' question next term in a PSHE class. It will be the basis of a good discussion. Thank you for the idea.
Chairman of North Wales Junior Chess Association
northwaleschess@aol.com

Andrew Camp
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:18 am
Location: Colwyn Bay

Re: Promoting chess for younger players in chess clubs

Post by Andrew Camp » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:02 am

Incidently, my partner, Syringa Turvey-Cross, who some of you may know is currently writing a book that deals with chess ettiquette for Junior.
Chairman of North Wales Junior Chess Association
northwaleschess@aol.com

Post Reply