UKCC Mega Finals results?

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Nick Thomas
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Nick Thomas » Sun May 22, 2011 8:10 am

Susan Lalic wrote:
Jim Wadsworth wrote:By way of comparison, in Berkshire we had a total Megafinal entry of just over 200. Of these 26 were teenagers.

If my understanding is right then Surrey had almost 400 entrants, of whom about 28 were teenagers. What was excellent to see in the Surrey entry is that about 50% of participants were female. Clearly they are doing something right - in Berks our female entry was only about 17% of total. Would love to know what Surrey's formula is.
Jim, It could be due to the number of all girls schools in Surrey. I teach in two and have had 21 qualify through to the Gigafinals. Girls' chess thrives in single gender schools, but I have a lot less success with the U-11 girls from mixed schools.

The number of girls playing in Surrey is probably also helped by the tradition of Wey Valley (Surrey) having successful teams in the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) National Inter-Association competition for the last 30 years or so. Success tends to breed success and many girls are motivated to become part of the team.

I also agree with Neill Cooper that Neil Clifton (Coloma Convent) created a fantasic legacy for girls chess that still lives on.
Hi Suzan. I too have had pretty poor results with girls participation in mixed schools. I recently had an offer of teaching in an all girls school but was reluctant as I wasn't sure if it could work from a business standpoint. Your post gives me new hope! Are you mostly involved with junior girls or do you also coach older (senior) girls groups? Are there any secrets you can share or do you run them on the same lines as the mixed/boys clubs?

Michael Jones
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Michael Jones » Sun May 22, 2011 8:35 pm

Susan Lalic wrote:
Jim Wadsworth wrote:By way of comparison, in Berkshire we had a total Megafinal entry of just over 200. Of these 26 were teenagers.

If my understanding is right then Surrey had almost 400 entrants, of whom about 28 were teenagers. What was excellent to see in the Surrey entry is that about 50% of participants were female. Clearly they are doing something right - in Berks our female entry was only about 17% of total. Would love to know what Surrey's formula is.
Jim, It could be due to the number of all girls schools in Surrey. I teach in two and have had 21 qualify through to the Gigafinals. Girls' chess thrives in single gender schools, but I have a lot less success with the U-11 girls from mixed schools.

The number of girls playing in Surrey is probably also helped by the tradition of Wey Valley (Surrey) having successful teams in the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) National Inter-Association competition for the last 30 years or so. Success tends to breed success and many girls are motivated to become part of the team.

I also agree with Neill Cooper that Neil Clifton (Coloma Convent) created a fantasic legacy for girls chess that still lives on.
That surprises me somewhat, since my experience has been precisely the opposite. I played my junior chess in an area where most of the secondary schools were single sex, and during the time I was playing none of the girls' schools ever entered any of the various events held; there were a few girls from mixed schools, but they probably comprised no more than 10% of the total number of players. Of course, I don't know whether their absence was due to a lack of interest from the girls, or lack of a member of staff willing to organise a team.

Susan Lalic
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Susan Lalic » Mon May 23, 2011 9:00 am

Michael, I agree. Secondary school chess for girls is a disaster (in my experience from a business point of view) as the numbers plummet and there are only a few competitive players in the school. At that age they can go to an adult club, if serious, and that is what I recommend. The social players can get a few sets out at lunch time and the club can look after itself.

Nick, I think you'll be surprised how popular chess is in primary (U-11) girls schools. Especially if you have a regional team that enter the EPSCA event.
I run them along the same lines as the mixed clubs, with the exception of a cute picture on the letter advertising the club (normally with Elmer sitting playing chess) and slightly different prizes. I try and start the girls in year 2 in order for them to start participating in the Megafinals at the first opportunity.

Nick Thomas
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Nick Thomas » Mon May 23, 2011 10:17 am

Thanks for that. Do you have any idea why it works better for girls in girls only groups rather than mixed groups?

Susan Lalic
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Susan Lalic » Mon May 23, 2011 10:29 am

Good question!
I think girls enjoy learning in a social environment and don't even necessarily think much about who are the strongest players.
The question is why they give up in mixed schools?
Graeme thinks it could be because the average girl is weaker than the average boy and thus finds chess against boys discouraging. The average girl is probably less competitive also. You'll find they rarely mix in the playground either, so why go to a club with lots of boys. Fortunately there are exceptions to this generalisation!

Nick Thomas
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Nick Thomas » Mon May 23, 2011 10:48 am

Mmm.
Is it true that the average girl is weaker than the average boy? I don't think I find that in the younger groups I run (year 2/3) where the B/G ratios are artificially kept fairly even. I certainly find that girls appear to get discouraged by being in the minority though except where I have girls who are the best in the group (or top 2 or 3) who stay keen and keep at it regardless of the ratio.
I have wondered whether my groups are too geared toward competition and competitiveness for some girls taste though. In fact is it the boys rather distasteful competitiveness itself which puts off some girls?

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Ben Purton
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Ben Purton » Mon May 23, 2011 11:01 am

My 2 Schools, I have 90% girls in my classes(one is all girls).

Ben
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Nick Thomas
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Nick Thomas » Mon May 23, 2011 11:13 am

Need a bit more info for that to be meaningful Ben. Is one class 40 girls (all girls school) and the other 5 girls and 5 boys? I assume you don't mean 90% in each class (who are the other 10% in the girls school?)...
Is your all girls group run on a fairly competitive basis?

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Ben Purton
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Ben Purton » Mon May 23, 2011 11:31 am

20/20(all girls) in One, 16/20(Only Lower school have mixed) in the other. I find the girls are just as competitive as boys. I use to teach an all boys school also. I have lowered the amount of schools I do and might give it a rest soon as I want to concentrate on pushing towards 2200+.

Ben
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Neill Cooper
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Neill Cooper » Thu May 26, 2011 5:27 pm

Susan Lalic wrote:Secondary school chess for girls is a disaster (in my experience from a business point of view) as the numbers plummet and there are only a few competitive players in the school.
Interestingly in the past few weeks I've had 2 girls secondary schools contact me about joining the Surrey schools league. Though in both cases the person has been a teacher.

Susan Lalic
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Re: UKCC Mega Finals results?

Post by Susan Lalic » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:21 pm

Slight change in conversation... Just attended the finals of the problem solving competition that Mike Basman invited schools to enter along with the UK Chess Challenge. As always Mike was incredibly generous with the prizes. If you were an U-18 girl you were guaranteed to come away with at least £75.
The first round was too hard for most U-11s but the second round and the finals were spot on as those in charge quickly learnt at what level to pitch the problems. I recommend coaches to enter their schools next year. The half day was run excellently by Brian Stephenson and his team.

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