Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The School Chess Carnival

In Australia (and I guess a number of other countries), we have School Athletic Carnivals, and School Swimming Carnivals. Everyone gets the day off to participate in a competitive activity, with trophies and medals normally awarded to the best performing students. Far less common is the School Chess Carnival.
While schools may run their school championships etc it is normally an after school or lunchtime activity, rather than a whole day event. As far as I'm aware Curtin Primary and Amaroo School are the only Canberra schools that have something like this. (NB Corrections welcome)
I spent today at the Amaroo School Championship, which had a field of 86 players from Year 3 up to Year 9. The numbers were restricted due to the amount of equipment available, as otherwise a potential field of 300 students (out of an enrolment of 1400) could have taken part. Even then we had to use the 'Indian' time control for the bottom boards, in that the top 30 boards had clocks, with the bottom boards doing without, until the final 10 minutes of the round, where clocks from completed games were placed on the bottom boards with 5 minutes for both players.
The 7 round event ran very smoothly, as even the newcomers to tournament chess picking up on how it was all supposed to work, At the end of the day top seed Jennifer Ton won with 7/7, while Viv Lam finished tied for second with Nick Coffey on 6/7. As with other schools sports carnivals there were medals for the best scorers from each of the age groups, and each winner was given heart congratulations from their peers.
Next year the school will hopefully be expanding the event to allow all the interested students to take part, so maybe I will be reporting on a 400 player event in twelve months time!

1 comment:

Libby said...

Curtin Primary's event had 113 players but we have players only from K-6. We also invite other schools to join us. This has expanded from the 1-2 schools down the road, to a clutch of southside schools where my involvement in interschool events has allowed me to meet some very keen teachers who are looking for opportunities to promote chess at their schools.

If I'd started my entries at Grade 3, I would have excluded four children in the top 20 (of 113). Of those four, one is in Kindy, one finished =2nd overall, one has just achieved his first "normal"rating, and one took out a board medal at the ASTC! I never turn the little ones away. They can come to chess club at Curtin if they can (legally) move the pieces.