Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:03 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:Difficult to see what better venues are available for a mass chess event than a big leisure centre. Until such time as chess can afford Wembley, of course
John Upham wrote:Around 500 children competed each day being accompanied by 1-2 parents plus siblings.
All divisions 4NCL is 500 players plus. But that doesn't have up to 1000 extra people as parents etc. milling around.

Andrew Varney
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Andrew Varney » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:
Andrew Varney wrote:My daughter said that during one game she and her opponent found it distracting enough to stop the clock by mutual agreement while the announcements were made.
A clock? Zoe was lucky to have a clock! Chloe had to make do with two old egg timers tied together with a bit of string.
I am surprised that on the higher boards, even if it were only in the lower age groups, there were not decent clocks. In the U11 girls, only the top 5 (or 6?) boards had clocks at all. The standard of the clocks definitely improved as Zoe moved up the boards, though. The digital ones I think may have been on just the top two boards in that age group.

Along similar lines, was it my imagination, or did the chess sets seem to have smaller pieces than one would usually expect at a tournament?

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Adam Raoof » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:27 am

Is anyone posting information about the Northern Gigafinal this coming weekend?

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:46 am

Andrew Varney wrote:I am surprised that on the higher boards, even if it were only in the lower age groups, there were not decent clocks. In the U11 girls, only the top 5 (or 6?) boards had clocks at all. The standard of the clocks definitely improved as Zoe moved up the boards, though. The digital ones I think may have been on just the top two boards in that age group.

Along similar lines, was it my imagination, or did the chess sets seem to have smaller pieces than one would usually expect at a tournament?
There seemed to be even fewer clocks this year. I'm sure Chloe's under 8 girls section had them on the top few boards last year, but this year there were none at all in the under 9 girls section. I was told that even the under 14s didn't have them on every board.

It's not your imagination, many of the sets have horribly small pieces. In the cramped conditions at Wellington that was probably a good thing, but now there's a bit more space I think normal sized chess sets would be nice.

As for clocks... I don't understand why Mike Basman won't enure that every single section has them. It wouldn't be difficult to beg, borrow or steal 300 or so clocks for the weekend, I could have lent him 75 myself and I know Nigel Dennis has offered to supply some in the past.

One thing at a time - this year we've got a proper venue, hopefully next year it will be clocks and proper chess sets for all players and after that we might even get controllers who understand the en passant rule!

Despite all my whinging I should say that I still think that the UK Chess Challenge is by far the best thing for junior chess in this country.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Adam Raoof » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:48 am

The Northern Gigafinal in Derby this weekend will have 800+ kids!

LozCooper

Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by LozCooper » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:07 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:The Northern Gigafinal in Derby this weekend will have 800+ kids!
What's Derby doing in the north? :shock:

Susan Lalic
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Susan Lalic » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:11 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:
Andrew Varney wrote:I am surprised that on the higher boards, even if it were only in the lower age groups, there were not decent clocks. In the U11 girls, only the top 5 (or 6?) boards had clocks at all. The standard of the clocks definitely improved as Zoe moved up the boards, though. The digital ones I think may have been on just the top two boards in that age group.

Along similar lines, was it my imagination, or did the chess sets seem to have smaller pieces than one would usually expect at a tournament?
There seemed to be even fewer clocks this year. I'm sure Chloe's under 8 girls section had them on the top few boards last year, but this year there were none at all in the under 9 girls section. I was told that even the under 14s didn't have them on every board.

It's not your imagination, many of the sets have horribly small pieces. In the cramped conditions at Wellington that was probably a good thing, but now there's a bit more space I think normal sized chess sets would be nice.

As for clocks... I don't understand why Mike Basman won't enure that every single section has them. It wouldn't be difficult to beg, borrow or steal 300 or so clocks for the weekend, I could have lent him 75 myself and I know Nigel Dennis has offered to supply some in the past.

One thing at a time - this year we've got a proper venue, hopefully next year it will be clocks and proper chess sets for all players and after that we might even get controllers who understand the en passant rule!

Despite all my whinging I should say that I still think that the UK Chess Challenge is by far the best thing for junior chess in this country.
I agree with your last sentence. However, I had twins in the U-9 girls event and they both played with clocks for the second half of the tournament. Mike sometimes waits to see if clocks are necessary i.e. if any players are on the slow side. Some children have never played with clocks and it can be a bit daunting for the younger ones.

I thought the standard of the Controllers was fantastic on Sunday: A couple of IMs and a couple of very experienced teachers who certainly know the en passant rule.

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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:13 pm

LozCooper wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:The Northern Gigafinal in Derby this weekend will have 800+ kids!
What's Derby doing in the north? :shock:
It's what the UKCC calls North. The UKCC's north includes places like Suffolk, Gloucestershire and South Wales. It's to get a roughly even split in the number of players at each Gigafinal. Even with these definitions, there are more players in the Southern one!

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Adam Raoof » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:13 pm

LozCooper wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:The Northern Gigafinal in Derby this weekend will have 800+ kids!
What's Derby doing in the north? :shock:
Anything north of Watford counts, apparently - http://www.ukchesschallenge.com/north-s ... ions.shtml

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Susan Lalic wrote:I agree with your last sentence. However, I had twins in the U-9 girls event and they both played with clocks for the second half of the tournament. Mike sometimes waits to see if clocks are necessary i.e. if any players are on the slow side. Some children have never played with clocks and it can be a bit daunting for the younger ones.

I thought the standard of the Controllers was fantastic on Sunday: A couple of IMs and a couple of very experienced teachers who certainly know the en passant rule.
I'll ask Chloe again about the clocks, it might be that they transferred some from the bottom boards of other sections for later rounds of the under 9s once they were confident that the more experienced players had worked their way up to the top boards.

Do you really think that some children find playing with clocks daunting? I would have thought that anyone who had qualified for the Gigafinal would have used them before. I must admit that this is a subject where I seem to be in the minority, I like to see clocks used as early as possible, even with under 7s in their very first tournament, but most people I speak to about it think that clocks are at best a waste of time with the very young children.

Who were the IM controllers? I saw David Archer (not an IM), who is a very experienced controller and organiser, but I didn't recognise anyone else. Often in large junior events (i.e. events for a large number of juniors, rather than events for large juniors) the most experienced controllers are put in charge of the older age groups, whereas I think you have more "interesting" disputes and upsets with the less experienced children. For example Mike Basman is always asked to look after the top row (boards 1 and 2) in EPSCA team events but I think he would be much more useful on boards 19 / 20, sorting out positions where both sides are in double check and no-one can remember whose move it is.

I made the "en passant" comment because one of the Oxfordshire under 10 girls took a pawn e.p. in her game only for it to be disputed by her opponent, who had never seen such witchcraft on a chessboard before. The Oxfordshire girl expected it to be sorted out by the controller, but unfortunately she didn't seem to be very sure of the rule herself and had to call for a second opinion.

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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:13 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:I made the "en passant" comment because one of the Oxfordshire under 10 girls took a pawn e.p. in her game only for it to be disputed by her opponent, who had never seen such witchcraft on a chessboard before.
I think this is someone who Richard James would put in the "person who isn't ready for competitive chess" category.

Susan Lalic
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Susan Lalic » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:25 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:
Susan Lalic wrote:I agree with your last sentence. However, I had twins in the U-9 girls event and they both played with clocks for the second half of the tournament. Mike sometimes waits to see if clocks are necessary i.e. if any players are on the slow side. Some children have never played with clocks and it can be a bit daunting for the younger ones.

I thought the standard of the Controllers was fantastic on Sunday: A couple of IMs and a couple of very experienced teachers who certainly know the en passant rule.
I'll ask Chloe again about the clocks, it might be that they transferred some from the bottom boards of other sections for later rounds of the under 9s once they were confident that the more experienced players had worked their way up to the top boards.

Do you really think that some children find playing with clocks daunting? I would have thought that anyone who had qualified for the Gigafinal would have used them before. I must admit that this is a subject where I seem to be in the minority, I like to see clocks used as early as possible, even with under 7s in their very first tournament, but most people I speak to about it think that clocks are at best a waste of time with the very young children.

Who were the IM controllers? I saw David Archer (not an IM), who is a very experienced controller and organiser, but I didn't recognise anyone else. Often in large junior events (i.e. events for a large number of juniors, rather than events for large juniors) the most experienced controllers are put in charge of the older age groups, whereas I think you have more "interesting" disputes and upsets with the less experienced children. For example Mike Basman is always asked to look after the top row (boards 1 and 2) in EPSCA team events but I think he would be much more useful on boards 19 / 20, sorting out positions where both sides are in double check and no-one can remember whose move it is.

I made the "en passant" comment because one of the Oxfordshire under 10 girls took a pawn e.p. in her game only for it to be disputed by her opponent, who had never seen such witchcraft on a chessboard before. The Oxfordshire girl expected it to be sorted out by the controller, but unfortunately she didn't seem to be very sure of the rule herself and had to call for a second opinion.
Sorry, I meant by controllers, those controlling the room of players. Lorin D'Costa and I were the IMs and Mike Bolan and Wendy Bradley (long standing and brilliant teachers with chess playing experience) were also patrolling. It's possible there was an enthusiastic helper who jumped in occasionally, but 99% of the time the four named stewards sorted out any problems and nothing came back to bite us.

Kids panic with clocks and it can make them move much quicker than normal. It takes a good few tournaments to get used to them and I know very few U-9s that are happy to use them. I agree by U-11 they shouldn't really get a choice!

Andrew Varney
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by Andrew Varney » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:26 pm

Susan Lalic wrote:Kids panic with clocks and it can make them move much quicker than normal. It takes a good few tournaments to get used to them and I know very few U-9s that are happy to use them. I agree by U-11 they shouldn't really get a choice!
I agree that the first few times that children use clocks, they often panic and play too fast. In my experience with U9s in the Oxon Schools' tournament, some also get very upset, feeling that it's extra pressure. However, how much the clock really contributes to the blitz-like play, I'm not sure. In my (U10) son's case, it can be a real challenge trying to get him to slow down, but without a clock to guide him and remind him he's got plenty of time, it's just about impossible!

raycollett
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Re: Southern Gigafinal - Saturday 9th July 2011

Post by raycollett » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:50 am

Susan Lalic wrote:Kids panic with clocks and it can make them move much quicker than normal. It takes a good few tournaments to get used to them and I know very few U-9s that are happy to use them.
Young children are very adaptable. :D

My worst fears were confirmed this year at a Megafinal when two u-7 girl competitors were first equal using the tie-break system in UK Chess Challenge. Parents were in the room in preparation for the prize giving because I had not previously realised that there was a tied score at the top of this section.

There was nothing for it but a blitz play-off with clocks. I explained to players and parents the controller's decision about the play-off. Neither competitor had used a clock previously. I showed the players how clock are used and allowed them a few minutes practice before the start of the decider.

Play was equal for the first thirty or so moves and players had about two minutes each and had to speed up with the play becoming ragged with serious blunders. First one player then the other had the upper hand until a nearly equal ending was reached. Then a flag fell. The composure of these two players both during play and at the flag-fall was exemplary and a lesson for some adult players.

I had the feeling I had watched a pair of future CEOs, spy-mistresses, or, hoping, IM players

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