Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Jonathan Bryant wrote:However, I do think the issue of children playing in adult chess tournaments - and the impact competitive chess can have on juniors - is grossly under-discussed within the chess world.
Not sure what point you are trying to make ....
Simply that what you always hear is the 'it doesn't matter if you're 7 or 107' as Matt Fletcher puts it and as you say for yourself. I'm not saying that this is wrong, just that there is another side to the coin and it almost never gets an airing.
I'm not saying that juniors playing in adult tournaments is a bad thing (for them or for the adults) on balance at all. Just that if you put juniors into an adult environment - in whatever context - there can sometimes be negative consequences. Tournament chess can be a pretty brutal experience after all.
Coincidentally I was talking about junior chess with Matt yesterday evening before coming home to find this thread. He'd played quite a bit as a junior - and obviously found it a very positive experience - and I didn't start playing in serious chess until I was 18.
My experience is that juniors, as long as they are strong enough, and as long as their parents are sensible, almost always find taking part in adult tournaments a positive experience. They also benefit more from adult events than junior events because they will meet a wider range of opponents and face a wider range of openings.
The events that can produce negative consequences are almost exclusively junior events, particularly those which involve qualification for something else such as the National Junior Squad. Failing to qualify for something can be far more upsetting for children than just losing a game.
It was for these reasons that we started the Richmond Rapidplays as a way of encouraging players of different ages to compete together. I guess the players who have bad experiences from these events are the adults who lose grading points to undergraded juniors.
I agree that it's important that these subjects are discussed. It's all very well saying we should encourage children to play chess, but there are all sorts of questions about how, why, when and where which are not being addressed at the moment.