U6 Tournaments

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Nick Thomas
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U6 Tournaments

Post by Nick Thomas » Mon May 11, 2015 11:40 am

Are there many (any) U6 tournaments coming up, preferably in or around the Midlands?

Nick Thomas
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Nick Thomas » Tue May 12, 2015 11:14 pm

I guess not.

David Blower
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by David Blower » Wed May 13, 2015 1:55 am

They are usually under 7 tournaments (which under 6's can enter.)

Can I ask whereabouts in the midlands you are. A normal start would be to look at the county association website. I should point out I know the person who is quite important in terms of Staffordshire Junior chess.

Nick Thomas
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Nick Thomas » Wed May 13, 2015 7:36 am

Thanks for your reply David. I'm pretty clued up about the local personnel but thought a general enquiry here might hit a few different targets at once. Yes I have no problem finding U7 tournaments but the lad is U5 hence the question.

Richard James
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Richard James » Wed May 13, 2015 9:43 am

Nick Thomas wrote:Are there many (any) U6 tournaments coming up, preferably in or around the Midlands?
I should hope not.

Playing a full game of chess to competitive level is age-inappropriate for probably 99.9% of 5-year-olds (including Magnus Carlsen who learnt the moves at 5 but found it too hard and only returned to the game several years later).

Doing anything in a competitive environment is probably age-inappropriate for most 5-year-olds.

A 5-year-old who has both the cognitive and emotional maturity for competitive chess would be well served by U8 tournaments. I would consider running U6 tournaments to be, at the very least, exploitative.

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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by John Upham » Wed May 13, 2015 12:23 pm

I would strongly concur with Richard.

Parents might believe an Under-6 tournament might be useful but the chances of any legal games of chess being played are very close to zero.

A sandpit or Lego tournament would be more beneficial.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed May 13, 2015 12:47 pm

John Upham wrote:Parents might believe an Under-6 tournament might be useful but the chances of any legal games of chess being played are very close to zero.
Oh, there'll probably be the odd legal game. Maybe 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qh5 Nf6 4.Qxf7# or something like that.

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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by John Upham » Wed May 13, 2015 1:12 pm

More likely is

1 e4 e5 2 Qh5 g6 3 Qxe5+ but, as you write, you might find two U6s playing in the same game who have been shown Scholar's Mate.
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Richard James » Wed May 13, 2015 1:22 pm

Or 1. e4 d6 2. Bb5# because the black king has no moves.

Or 1. e4 d6 2. Bb5+ e6 3. Bxe8 because you win by killing the enemy king.

Nick Thomas
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Nick Thomas » Wed May 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Richard James wrote:
Nick Thomas wrote:Are there many (any) U6 tournaments coming up, preferably in or around the Midlands?
I should hope not.

Playing a full game of chess to competitive level is age-inappropriate for probably 99.9% of 5-year-olds (including Magnus Carlsen who learnt the moves at 5 but found it too hard and only returned to the game several years later).

Doing anything in a competitive environment is probably age-inappropriate for most 5-year-olds.

A 5-year-old who has both the cognitive and emotional maturity for competitive chess would be well served by U8 tournaments. I would consider running U6 tournaments to be, at the very least, exploitative.

http://www.toomuchtoosoon.org/
Thanks Richard. I assume this lecture is directed at casual observers/parents who may not have very much experience of early years pedagogy or chess playing & coaching young children.

Of course I agree that "Playing a full game of chess to competitive level is age-inappropriate for probably 99.9% of 5-year-olds" but I am not enquiring on behalf of that 99.9% so you really have no need to worry. There is a lot of truth in your well known entrenched view but perhaps not as much as you seem to think.

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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu May 14, 2015 1:41 am

I would agree with Richard James that formal tournaments for the very young are unnecessary and potentially harmful. My experience is that under 6's can't cope with the standard rules of chess and prefer to invent their own rules or create patterns on the boards using pieces from a number of different sets.

The Megafinals of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge provide a good source of data from which it might be interesting to establish the demographic of active young chess players. Having run since 1996, it would also be possible to examine how the activity in different age groups has evolved over the past 20 years.

The Results of this year's Megafinals can be found at: http://www.ukchesschallenge.com/MFResul ... x2015.html

Nick Thomas
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Nick Thomas » Thu May 14, 2015 7:04 am

Perhaps those wishing to air their views on the ethics of encouraging competitive chess in young children could start their own thread, one which I mighty even contribute to? Meanwhile if anyone has any specific information which might be useful to me, a thoughtful and some might say semi intelligent chess coach with 15 years full time experience, I would be grateful, as would a balanced and happy 5 year old who is quite brilliant but might benefit from competing sometimes against children more his own age (despite getting more than half marks in the megafinal) and his intelligent, knowledgeable parents with nothing but their child's happiness and well-being at heart.

Michael Flatt
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu May 14, 2015 10:16 am

A Google search has identified a series of U6 tournaments run in Basildon by Essex Junior Chess during 2011, 2012, 2013 and then nothing:
http://www.ejca.co.uk/cross-tables-u6s

It might be productive to talk to the organisers of these events to benefit from their experience.

Could it be that there is simply insufficient demand to justify organising formal tournaments in the U6 age category?

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David Shepherd
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by David Shepherd » Thu May 14, 2015 12:17 pm

I think the answer is probably just no, however maybe somebody could suggest an older age tournament that has a reasonable number of younger players that are U6 (if one exists).

Nick Thomas
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Re: U6 Tournaments

Post by Nick Thomas » Thu May 14, 2015 2:26 pm

David Shepherd wrote:I think the answer is probably just no, however maybe somebody could suggest an older age tournament that has a reasonable number of younger players that are U6 (if one exists).
Thanks that would be just as good.

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