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Frank Walker
28-08-2005, 02:18 PM
Being a member of the Victorian Teacher Association, I have decided to write this for the interest of the public.
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Primary Schools
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Chess in primary schools has been very successfull recently. Alot of the primary schools in which I have been a substitute teacher in, have an enthusiastic chess club. Take Essex Heights for example: Many of kids there had no interest in chess before the chess club.
The following may possiblt be false because I do not know whether the children had previous experience in chess:
Essex heights has produce many good chess players such who are now competing at National level whether it be in the Australian Junior or the Interchool finals.

Primary School chess has been brilliant in the past few years.

Secondary Schools
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Many schools actually have very good chess players but no chess clubs. In 2001 Glen Waverley Secondary College had a chess club which is now extinct because the only teacher who supperted it has left. In 2002 it was run for a small amount of time by students. The club was oftenly flooded by bullies who came in and called everyone nerds, many of the children had thier reputation on stake so they left.

Due to this, schools are now not able to show what they can do at the interschool tournaments etc.
These bullies are somewhat an unstoppable force who may be able to destroy the new generation of chess.
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Please feel free to express your opinion about this report and if it has a good argument I will try to get it published in the local newspapers.

jenni
28-08-2005, 04:33 PM
Its a pretty fair comment. Chess seems to be thriving at the primary school level and struggling at High School.

Essex Heights incidentally has been good at chess and producing international and national level players since 1998.

In the ACT we get 300 girls to play chess at primary school and it drops to 40ish in High School. Where do they all go? From the ones I have seen, they go to different schools form new friendship groups and unless they are already hooked into chess, they make other activities their first priorities.

It is a similar story with the boys, although not quite as bad - more boys appear to be prepared to keep playing chess (even taking as a % of the chess playing PS population, a higher % of boys seem to keep playing than girls).

It varies from school to school and depends on the culture. We certainly see some high schools in the ACT where kids are ridiculed for playing chess. Andrew Fitzpatrick copped a fair bit of teasing when he first went to High School (the same one my kids go to). However it has become a lot more accepted now and although there probably is still an element of sneering at chess by the "cool" kids, it is well within boundaries. The school does come down very heavily on any bullying which helps. It has also been helped by having some of the "cool" kids in recent years being chess players. I can remember a few years ago one boy having a gaggle of girls around him in the hall with them asking admiringly how he was doing. He wasn't one of the top players, but he did help chess' profile. :)


I think it is a school issue, as if these kids are bullying chess players, they are
probably also bullying students who are excelling in the class room. At primary school it is much easier to keep this level of bullying under control than at High School.

PHAT
28-08-2005, 04:48 PM
In 2001 Glen Waverley Secondary College had a chess club which is now extinct because the only teacher who supperted it has left. In 2002 it was run for a small amount of time by students. The club was oftenly flooded by bullies who came in and called everyone nerds, many of the children had thier reputation on stake so they left.

The buck stops at the top. If the principle cannot stop THAT level of bullying, he/she should get out. This is a secondry college, so the animal years 7,8,9,10 aren't even there. What sought of scum are allowed to inhabit this GWSC?

Frank Walker
28-08-2005, 05:00 PM
The buck stops at the top. If the principle cannot stop THAT level of bullying, he/she should get out. This is a secondry college, so the animal years 7,8,9,10 aren't even there. What sought of scum are allowed to inhabit this GWSC?

it has 7-12 in it and the kids cant really tell because this will cause more bullying to them. Well, thats my side of things anyway.

PHAT
28-08-2005, 05:17 PM
it has 7-12 in it and the kids cant really tell because this will cause more bullying to them. Well, thats my side of things anyway.

Mate, they don't have to "tell." If you see it, YOU nail the bastards for a suspention and then make sure you nail again and again until they run out of lives and are expelled. It works!

Although, last week, one expellee came back with a bucket of meat and offel and dumped it on the deputy's desk :lol:

Frank Walker
28-08-2005, 05:19 PM
Mate, they don't have to "tell." If you see it, YOU nail the bastards for a suspention and then make sure you nail again and again until they run out of lives and are expelled. It works!

Although, last week, one expellee came back with a bucket of meat and offel and dumped it on the deputy's desk :lol:

I live no-where near Glen Waverley, I read about it in a Local Paper so I decided to write about it.

Mischa
28-08-2005, 05:51 PM
My son is captain of the Essex Heights team. He was interested in chess before we went to Essex Heights and their chess programme was unknown to us when we started there.
However, many children there do get their first taste of chess from the Essex Heights programme.
I have only one complaint and that is the lack of suopport from the greater school community
The other sports teams have t-shirts etc, (I am lead to believe), the chess team does but the are all too small and we have to give them back!
We have NO financial support from the school at all and apart from one teacher very little else. The parents pay for the children's competition entry and transport them too and from the various venues.
When travelling interstate if we are lucky enough to win the state finbals ALL expenses are met by the parents including coaching. The school does , I believe, pay for the accommodation of the coordinating teacher.
Most of the A team receive, or have received, private coaching at the expense of the parents.
Yes Primary school chess may work well to introduce chess to the kids but the expense, encouragement and onus remains with the parents.

jenni
28-08-2005, 06:54 PM
My son is captain of the Essex Heights team. He was interested in chess before we went to Essex Heights and their chess programme was unknown to us when we started there.
However, many children there do get their first taste of chess from the Essex Heights programme.
I have only one complaint and that is the lack of suopport from the greater school community
The other sports teams have t-shirts etc, (I am lead to believe), the chess team does but the are all too small and we have to give them back!
We have NO financial support from the school at all and apart from one teacher very little else. The parents pay for the children's competition entry and transport them too and from the various venues.
When travelling interstate if we are lucky enough to win the state finbals ALL expenses are met by the parents including coaching. The school does , I believe, pay for the accommodation of the coordinating teacher.
Most of the A team receive, or have received, private coaching at the expense of the parents.
Yes Primary school chess may work well to introduce chess to the kids but the expense, encouragement and onus remains with the parents.

I have gone to the schools comps every year since it started in 1998 with one or more teams. I think my worst was 2000 in Adelaide where I had a kid in each of the Girls Primary, Girls Secondary and open Secondary - looking after 3 teams was interesting!

A couple of times the High School has given some support, but not for a few years now. We never had any support for Primary school teams. Our High School has stated that they do not support other teams that go away, so won't make an "exception" for chess. The school has many "friends of " groups that do fund raising to support their various sports. e.g. "friends of music" or "friends of rowing".

I do know that University High in Melbourne received a lot of school support in 2001, although I do not know if that is normal.

We are fortunate in the ACT that the ACTJCL gives $300 per team.

Frank Walker
28-08-2005, 08:16 PM
I have gone to the schools comps every year since it started in 1998 with one or more teams. I think my worst was 2000 in Adelaide where I had a kid in each of the Girls Primary, Girls Secondary and open Secondary - looking after 3 teams was interesting!

A couple of times the High School has given some support, but not for a few years now. We never had any support for Primary school teams. Our High School has stated that they do not support other teams that go away, so won't make an "exception" for chess. The school has many "friends of " groups that do fund raising to support their various sports. e.g. "friends of music" or "friends of rowing".

I do know that University High in Melbourne received a lot of school support in 2001, although I do not know if that is normal.

We are fortunate in the ACT that the ACTJCL gives $300 per team.

You people are lucky

jenni
28-08-2005, 08:27 PM
You people are lucky

Lucky? No - it has taken years of hard work to build up a strong junior organisation. Every state should have one! We started with 5 people and some big (probably over ambitious at that time!), ideas.....

eclectic
28-08-2005, 08:56 PM
i was wondering ...

should mischa instigate the "SCHMOZZLE"?

an award presented annually for the most inept chess organising effort involving school aged children?

i think that touzier "gentilhomme" might be open misere as the inaugural recipient

(sorry for any "thread" overlap .... :lick: )

eclectic

antichrist
29-08-2005, 11:02 AM
At each school I have taught at I have always managed to squeeze new equipment out of them. Surely you get that. I even squeezed 6 table tennis tables as part of the deal as well - beat that!

firegoat7
29-08-2005, 03:02 PM
Hello,


I believe that in Victoria this issue is probably the most important issue of recent times. How to get school kids into flourishing chess clubs so that they can successfully integrate with the larger chess playing community?

I would hasten to add that a junior chess league scenario similar to Canberra and N.S.W may be the answer but ultimately I seriously doubt it. In my opinion Victorias problems are culturally specific.

In Victoria we have a number of private business providing coaching to numerous schools. These rival companies are very competitive towards each other and are not really interested in sharing their (sic) markets. So we have this unique situation of thousands of kids learning chess but not really playing chess, competively that is.

ChessVictoria recently attempted to alleviate these problems through unleashing a radical proposal of zoning. In principle this idea may have worked, instead it was a basic failure, although of course it is better then no plan at all.

IMO this plan failed for four reasons.

1) The clubs were not involved in the zoning process. It was generally for the benefit of commercial business interests. Thus a severe lack of club experience was alienated from junior chess..

2) The unfortunate resignation of the 2005 co-ordinator

3) The zoning format seemed exceedingly complicated. Making it a nightmare for concerned parties to wade through.

4) A severe lack of political will by ChessVictoria to set aside the approriate financial resources for such an ambitious project.

Clubs come and go, mostly dependent on the enthusiam of parents. however in Victoria there are a number of highly successful clubs who can offer very reasonable services to fledgling clubs. An excellent example would be Whitehorse junior chess clubs relationship with Box Hill chess club. Whitehorse generates the numbers, Box Hill provides the facilities.

If schools were really interested in generating stable chess clubs that flourished they would be well advised to visit and discuss a symbiotic relationship with these established chess clubs. Of course such relationships need some financial support for both parties, otherwise they fall apart through an inability to deliver needs based on volunteering, basically a geographical problem culturally specific to Melbourne and a lack of state and federal funding/recognition issue.

Of course coaching business interests are often hesitant to establish such relationships since often rightfully or wrongly they view such relationships as a competing interest financially. Furthermore, potentially they are reluctant to form such relationships with clubs, who again, rightfully or wrongly may be perceived to have certain biases to certain private businesses. While finally control of resources is another delicate problem.

Add to this a seemingly lack of political will by ChessVictoria to have the clubs involved in the zoning process and one can quicly ascertain that Victorian chess is clearly on the wrong path. With ChessVictoria being reluctant to include the clubs, schools are left in the dark about how to establish such services and private operators more interested in their own financial interests instead of the greater good. It is no wonder then that the mythical Victorian junior chess numbers continues to remain a myth for competive chess.

My advice to schools, establish personal relationships with established chess clubs. You may be suprised at what they have to offer for hopefully win/win solutions.

Cheers Fg7

jenni
29-08-2005, 04:02 PM
with the larger chess playing community?

I would hasten to add that a junior chess league scenario similar to Canberra and N.S.W may be the answer but ultimately I seriously doubt it. In my opinion Victorias problems are culturally specific.



This is possibly true - I can't comment on culturally specific problems. Perhaps having a VICJCL might be a catlyst to require some of the culture to change? The ACTJCL and NSWJCL seem to manage to work with the various chess businesses quuite well. Perhaps you might even get enough parents who might feel like becoming active with Chess Victoria and making some changes?

The ACTJCL also works closely with the adult environment to generate new club players.

Two junior clubs are run (independent of schools) and as juniors get better they are advised to "move up" to an adult club. Activities such as the development squad actively promote playing at adult clubs and adult weekenders as something the aspiring junior should be doing.

Parents have a vested interest in promoting chess activity and growing the base - creating a junior organisation gives free rein to their enthusiasm. Many of the clubs in Melbourne already have junior offshoots, so a VICJCL might not need to have their own junior clubs, but could feed kids to existing ones.

It think the secret is to have proper migration paths, so that the JCLs do not become a world of their own, generating new players, but confining them within the junior environment. The ultimate goal should be to create adults who enjoy playing chess.

sleepless
29-08-2005, 05:31 PM
Chess is very popular in our primary school, which incidentally is part of the Independent School system. A paid coach gives before school tuition to chess club members and it is part of the classroom programme at one of the year levels. Chess results are given with sports results at assemblies.





zzz ...

ursogr8
29-08-2005, 06:29 PM
Hello,

I believe that in Victoria this issue is probably the most important issue of recent times. How to get school kids into flourishing chess clubs so that they can successfully integrate with the larger chess playing community?

I think I agree with you Mr fg7. This looks to be our biggest opportunity.


I would hasten to add that a junior chess league scenario similar to Canberra and N.S.W may be the answer but ultimately I seriously doubt it. In my opinion Victoria's problems are culturally specific.

But I think I reserve judgement on this. The solution is likely to hinge on resources,and a League may be the most effective mechanism for Victoria.


In Victoria we have a number of private business providing coaching to numerous schools. These rival companies are very competitive towards each other and are not really interested in sharing their (sic) markets. So we have this unique situation of thousands of kids learning chess but not really playing chess, competively that is.
While this is true, it is not impossible for a League to draw on these private businesses provide that we mature in our process to handle the conflicts of interest.


ChessVictoria recently attempted to alleviate these problems through unleashing a radical proposal of zoning. In principle this idea may have worked, instead it was a basic failure, although of course it is better then no plan at all.
I thought this recent plan was only directed towards bringing equity to the charging for involvement in the Schools title; nothing more.


IMO this plan failed for four reasons.

1) The clubs were not involved in the zoning process. It was generally for the benefit of commercial business interests. Thus a severe lack of club experience was alienated from junior chess..

2) The unfortunate resignation of the 2005 co-ordinator

3) The zoning format seemed exceedingly complicated. Making it a nightmare for concerned parties to wade through.

4) A severe lack of political will by ChessVictoria to set aside the approriate financial resources for such an ambitious project.

So, whilst most of this part of your post may be correct, I don't think the simple objective of equity was missed.


Clubs come and go, mostly dependent on the enthusiam of parents. however in Victoria there are a number of highly successful clubs who can offer very reasonable services to fledgling clubs. An excellent example would be Whitehorse junior chess clubs relationship with Box Hill chess club. Whitehorse generates the numbers, Box Hill provides the facilities.

If schools were really interested in generating stable chess clubs that flourished they would be well advised to visit and discuss a symbiotic relationship with these established chess clubs. Of course such relationships need some financial support for both parties, otherwise they fall apart through an inability to deliver needs based on volunteering, basically a geographical problem culturally specific to Melbourne and a lack of state and federal funding/recognition issue.

I don't think the schools will lead in the process you have described. It has got to be CV or a League.


Of course coaching business interests are often hesitant to establish such relationships since often rightfully or wrongly they view such relationships as a competing interest financially. Furthermore, potentially they are reluctant to form such relationships with clubs, who again, rightfully or wrongly may be perceived to have certain biases to certain private businesses. While finally control of resources is another delicate problem.

Add to this a seemingly lack of political will by ChessVictoria to have the clubs involved in the zoning process and one can quicly ascertain that Victorian chess is clearly on the wrong path. With ChessVictoria being reluctant to include the clubs, schools are left in the dark about how to establish such services and private operators more interested in their own financial interests instead of the greater good. It is no wonder then that the mythical Victorian junior chess numbers continues to remain a myth for competive chess.

Good observations, but essentially the key is for a lead source to emerge.


My advice to schools, establish personal relationships with established chess clubs. You may be suprised at what they have to offer for hopefully win/win solutions.

Cheers Fg7

Did you have in mind any school that has achieved this?

regards
starter

ps Btw...really good post of yours.

bunta
29-08-2005, 07:08 PM
Being a member of the Victorian Teacher Association, I have decided to write this for the interest of the public.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Primary Schools
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chess in primary schools has been very successfull recently. Alot of the primary schools in which I have been a substitute teacher in, have an enthusiastic chess club. Take Essex Heights for example: Many of kids there had no interest in chess before the chess club.
The following may possiblt be false because I do not know whether the children had previous experience in chess:
Essex heights has produce many good chess players such who are now competing at National level whether it be in the Australian Junior or the Interchool finals.

Primary School chess has been brilliant in the past few years.

Secondary Schools
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many schools actually have very good chess players but no chess clubs. In 2001 Glen Waverley Secondary College had a chess club which is now extinct because the only teacher who supperted it has left. In 2002 it was run for a small amount of time by students. The club was oftenly flooded by bullies who came in and called everyone nerds, many of the children had thier reputation on stake so they left.

Due to this, schools are now not able to show what they can do at the interschool tournaments etc.
These bullies are somewhat an unstoppable force who may be able to destroy the new generation of chess.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please feel free to express your opinion about this report and if it has a good argument I will try to get it published in the local newspapers.

i totally agree with you, I'm a student at Hurlstone Agricultural High School, and i consider myself to being a decent chess player among with other juniors in the school. Frankly, teachers don't care about students taking part in this, our sport teacher didn't even tell us about the inter schools comps (where you travel to verse other schools in teams of 4 representing a school, this can be home and away games). And so we missed out, very disappointment and i don't get to play next year since im studying my HSC. My very keen mind in chess is going to backfire.. :(
I know certainly i'm going to inspire young kids in chess, if im good or not

Libby
29-08-2005, 07:20 PM
I can only speak about what is happening at my daughter's school.

When Kayleigh was in Kindy (prep) chess was taught in her classroom. That kindled her interest and I, as a parent, looked for ways to extend that interest with no inkling of her ability - good, bad or indifferent. She liked chess and we were actually lucky that a neighbouring school (not her own) was running an after school club she began to attend.

Unfortunately, chess in her classroom was not continued beyond kindy. I also found it was difficult for her to get into school teams for chess as she was young and female (twin pillars of disrespect) although she was probably the strongest player at the school by mid-way through Year 1. Mostly she was absorbed into her older sister's all-female team, both for girls & open events.

I decided to start a school chess club. It was a lunch time club. I expected about 10-15 kids, minimal success over the boards, and not to offer very much as I knew NOTHING myself (not even how to castle or set up the board properly. I used to copy the board next to the one I was setting up, perpetuating any error on that first board!)

From the beginning, we used clocks & proper sets purchased by the P&C Association - who were very supportive. We always play touch-move I created a club newsletter for every week. Initially as a device to help me run some kind of basic lesson (by working from the newsletter) but also as a device to promote events, clubs, results, chess general interest etc. Every child receives one each week and a lolly - a popular device to attract attendance!

We now have a mix of activities over the term, online play & lessons, recorded games, lightning, transfer etc.

Children paid $5 to join, to induce a commitment from players. We run a "waiting list" which inspires demand and a sense of "value" for membership. We have a "three-strikes" rule where you lose your place for giving us the flick three times in a term (ie three times skipping us to play outside!) So the kids come who really want to play chess, not waste time mucking around with pieces.

We have around 50 members, and I now run two groups on two days. Promotion to the "top" group is highly sought after.

We have a piece in the school newsletter every week and "Merit Awards" for chess presented at the weekly assembly.

The $5 fee buys a new chess book for the library every term - we have contributed over $500 worth of chess books and now have an extensive selection for players at any level. It also funds a lightning tournament played on the last day of term from lunchtime to 3pm in the school library. We have 3 trophies for the top group, three trophies for the beginners, a book prize for each group and "chess-related" lucky draws so anybody can win a prize.

At the end of year this becomes an all-day event in the last week of school with players invited from neighbouring schools.

Our games are now rated on the ACF Rapid list (not the lightning ones). The kids love having a rating and can't wait for the list to come out each quarter.

We have won numerous team events in the past 3-4 years. We regularly win the "Primary Allegro" locally which rewards the school with the highest level of participation. I consider my job to be to promote participation & interest at the school and encourage club & event participation outside of school. Our level of participation outside of school is what, I consider, has seen us develop an overall "solid" level of play without necessarily producing a stable of brilliance.

I think that is the role of schools in most sports - to kindle & foster interest, but you will generally find most sporting associations take responsibility for the further development & advancement of players

Kaitlin
30-08-2005, 08:06 AM
There was on tv new like some weeks ago... Tuvey school chess tourney, I think it was only primary school but it looked kewl... I dont even know where Tuvey is :huh: but it was on our news

Dozy
30-08-2005, 08:42 AM
I took a phone call from a Donna Cook during the week. She asked if her 5YO son could come to Rooty Hill and watch us play. He didn't want to play, just watch.
She turned up last night with young Gerasham (Gerry for short) who hasn't quite made his fifth birthday yet and taught himself to play chess using a computer.
We played for about 30 minutes before the RH Open Round 3 game started and I saw Jeff Cabilin playing with him for at least 45 minutes after that.
Gerry said he always plays white (his computer doesn't mind), opened with 1. Nf3 and played a slightly unconventional, fairly sound opening.
There were a few times he slipped into beginner mode and failed to recapture after an exchange, and once left a piece en prise; but the only thing he really failed to understand was that he couldn't move his king into the square alongside mine. (He captured a pawn that was protected by my king and said I couldn't take his king because my king would be in check.)
He's no Capablanca but he does have an exceptionally good basis in the game and if he comes back he's likely to go a long way.
Does anybody else have any experiences of kids this young teaching themselves to play?

antichrist
30-08-2005, 10:43 AM
Libby, if you want people like myself, who are concentration challenged, to read your post, can you post in point form and about one third the size.

You realise your relpy is longer than the US Declaration of Independence Speech by Thomas Jefferson, and the Ten Commandments are only about 100 words.

jenni
30-08-2005, 11:01 AM
:)

I have been known to accuse Libby of cutting down too many cyber trees in our e-mail correspondence.

However it a female thing - we like to write prose and lots of it. Everytime I swear under my breath about males who can't read, after one has missed a very obvious (to me) time and place detail in a flyer, Tony makes similar comments about length and dot points.

jenni
30-08-2005, 11:08 AM
Does anybody else have any experiences of kids this young teaching themselves to play?

We get a lot of 5 year olds who can play chess in Canberra, but most of them have been taught by a Dad or a grandfather or learnt at school. I am pretty sure Michael Wei taught himself to play initially from a chess game he was given for Christmas when very young.

I think kids can teach themsleves a lot from computers. I have a lovely photo of Gareth still in a nappy, so he must have been less than 3 and sucking his thumb, sitting at a computer playing a game. Once kids have been shown how to use a computer, they seem to have an incredible capacity to learn. How healthy it is for them vs running outside etc, is of course another issue.

(Up to the end of primary school we had strict rules on computer access. I have to admit I have now given up. I still do nag about walking the dog and general exercise as well. )

Ian Rout
30-08-2005, 12:24 PM
Learning from watching is a bit hit and miss considering that things like pawn promotion (especially under-promotion) and en passant only occur occasionally, and things like check, checkmate, the right to castle, and correction of illegal moves are a bit abstract, but young children aren't stupid - that comes later.

There's only about twelve rules in chess; considering that five-year olds learn to read (and many have some fluency earlier) they should be able to handle something as simple as chess even if they don't play to GM level. I'd be more impressed by a child of that age learning to apply some of the rules of other sports, such as the LBW laws.

Mischa
30-08-2005, 12:28 PM
My son was 5 when he taught himself but when we noticed....we bought him the Leggo Chess programme which was wonderful for the little kids! We then of course had to go and buy a chess set.
James didn't have access to a chess set for the first 6 months or more of learning chess.
Well we tried diverting his attention but finally gave in and got him one afterall.

Libby
30-08-2005, 01:14 PM
Libby, if you want people like myself, who are concentration challenged, to read your post, can you post in point form and about one third the size.

You realise your relpy is longer than the US Declaration of Independence Speech by Thomas Jefferson, and the Ten Commandments are only about 100 words.
:hand: Whatever. I'm wordy, get over it. Was the content of interest to you? If not, give it a miss. I've certainly learned to ignore posting by others of fewer words.

I was attempting to be helpful in showing that (dot points please) -

1. A completely ignorant (of chess) person can run and develop a club.

2. It is possible to conduct a club within a school that promotes playing beyond school

3. There are a range of activities, incentives and promotional tools within the school system that can give the club prestige, create demand for places, reward excellence and promote participation.

4. It is possible to continue to run something with only minimal school support if you develop strong parent support

I had thought of posting my ideas for secondary school (with my best group going to - mostly - the same high school next year) ... but I'd hate to bore you.

Long (& short) posts bitching about NSWCA are sooo much more productive.

antichrist
30-08-2005, 01:53 PM
Fantastic and well appreciated.

ursogr8
30-08-2005, 02:07 PM
:hand: Whatever. I'm wordy, get over it. Was the content of interest to you? If not, give it a miss. I've certainly learned to ignore posting by others of fewer words.

I was attempting to be helpful in showing that (dot points please) -

1. A completely ignorant (of chess) person can run and develop a club.

2. It is possible to conduct a club within a school that promotes playing beyond school

3. There are a range of activities, incentives and promotional tools within the school system that can give the club prestige, create demand for places, reward excellence and promote participation.

4. It is possible to continue to run something with only minimal school support if you develop strong parent support

I had thought of posting my ideas for secondary school (with my best group going to - mostly - the same high school next year) ... but I'd hate to bore you.

Long (& short) posts bitching about NSWCA are sooo much more productive.

hi Libby

Don't let a/c censor out your pearls. I enjoy all the content.
Btw, I am still trying to translate your signature line. ;)

starter

Dozy
30-08-2005, 02:46 PM
hi Libby

Don't let a/c censor out your pearls. I enjoy all the content.
Btw, I am still trying to translate your signature line. ;)

starter

Sound mind in a sound body works for me.

ursogr8
30-08-2005, 04:41 PM
Sound mind in a sound body works for me.
Oh. The 'foreign' part of Libby's signature line was Ok...I could translate that.
It was the Go BLUES part I could not understand....did they peak too early? ;)

Garvinator
30-08-2005, 05:05 PM
Oh. The 'foreign' part of Libby's signature line was Ok...I could translate that.
It was the Go BLUES part I could not understand....did they peak too early? ;)
maybe the blues were 'smarter' than the dons cause they knew they couldnt make the finals, so they decided to maximise their draft and priority pick options :whistle:

Mischa
30-08-2005, 08:50 PM
and this has to do with chess in schools..................how?

Libby
30-08-2005, 09:08 PM
and this has to do with chess in schools..................how?

You need to appreciate the more important issues.

Garvin has hit the single positive nail on the head. At least we beat Collingwood to the priority picks!

Ok - this is what I was considering floating for secondary school next year. I'd like some feedback, particularly from those in the age group.

Chess is a "geeky" activity. You can't get away from that. I was in the debating team - not a pursuit of the cool & popular.

If you are already a geek, playing chess or not playing chess won't alter your status. Until you develop (at least) a modest sporting ability you just can't improve your reputation much.

But I think street chess/park chess/cafe chess has a less geeky image. I was thinking of trying to run a high school club outside of the usual haunts (library, maths rooms etc) and instead have a more casual & public venue.

Lunchtime club in canteen or other open area with tables & chairs.

Pay $2 per term (before your first game).

Rapid rate the games.

Have a monthly prize (maybe $5 canteen voucher) by lucky draw between any players to have played in every week that month. P&C or canteen might sponsor.

Use $2 entry fees to provide prizes like movie tickets for top scores each term. Seek sponsorship for extra prizes keeping to "popular" and not "academic" prizes.

Use the club to promote other chess events & activities to players.

So? Any input before I take it to the new school?

Libby

jenni
30-08-2005, 11:09 PM
My high School club is run in a room at the PE centre (we're a sport right?). We get a lot of drop in people particularly in winter, cos it is nice and cozy. Last year we attracted a large number of girls who came with boy friends, but they did try and play chess.

Chess has got pretty boring now the school comps are all over and numbers were starting to drop off. We have just started a ladder and that seems to be generating a bit more enthusiasm. We are giving a prize for the best score, plus the most games played, as it is running over a number of weeks, so we wanted to reward a kid who came every week as well as good play.

I was thinking of a similar sort of prize to you, rather than a trophy. Hoping once the kids hear about a movie ticket prize or similar, it might bring in more of the sharks who are good at chess, but prefer to kick a ball outside.

Will let you know how it goes - I think your ideas are worth a try. There are huge numbers of kids at all High Schools in Canberra who know how to play chess, so it shouldn't be that hard to get a counter-culture going.

antichrist
01-09-2005, 10:40 AM
Chess has got pretty boring now the school comps are all over and numbers were starting to drop off. .

That is why I mix chess with ping pong, and break lessons up with football (soccer).

jenni
01-09-2005, 10:53 AM
That is why I mix chess with ping pong, and break lessons up with football (soccer).

Its great if you have enough time! There used to be some chess and tennis school holiday programs run in the ACT. Parents used to love the mix. I think Libby did some interesting combinations in her Chess Chicks program in the July holidays.

jenni
01-09-2005, 03:35 PM
Our lunch time chess club has now grown from a dismal 20 to 32 today, after the introduction of the ladder. I am going to have to buy more lollies each week. :(

Spiny Norman
01-09-2005, 11:21 PM
Our lunch time chess club has now grown from a dismal 20 to 32 today, after the introduction of the ladder.
:clap:

bunta
03-09-2005, 05:16 PM
Our lunch time chess club has now grown from a dismal 20 to 32 today, after the introduction of the ladder. I am going to have to buy more lollies each week. :(

you guys are so lucky, i don't see why schools don't take the opportunity to bring chess into schools. Too bad my school is still into there pride taking up activities such as debating, sports but not chess. I represent the school in local chess tournaments playing other schools but my name doesn't get mentioned they have to mention DEBATING first! :mad:

WhiteElephant
03-09-2005, 05:32 PM
Our lunch time chess club has now grown from a dismal 20 to 32 today, after the introduction of the ladder. I am going to have to buy more lollies each week. :(

Hi Jenni,

Would you mind explaining how your ladder system works? Where does a new member start on the ladder? How does someone progress up the ladder - do they have to challenge someone above them or are names moved up/ down the ladder based on tournament results? Also, how do you allocate the chess club time - is there time set aside specifically for lessons/ tournament games/ ladder challenges or can kids pretty much choose their own activities? Thanks.

jenni
03-09-2005, 05:43 PM
you guys are so lucky, i don't see why schools don't take the opportunity to bring chess into schools. Too bad my school is still into there pride taking up activities such as debating, sports but not chess. I represent the school in local chess tournaments playing other schools but my name doesn't get mentioned they have to mention DEBATING first! :mad:
It takes time - you have to get a symphathetic teacher (and there are often more of them than you think! - I can remember going to a teacher interview for one of my kids and the teacher randomly saying they were so glad that we were getting more of a profile for chess. It appears she was into music and felt that sport got far too much attention, so had allied herself with the chess efforts!) Once you have that you can get chess mentioned in the newsletter - student achievements, school results etc.

It took a number of years of pushing for chess, but the school now does recognise chess as a proper co-curricular activity. At assembly ribbons and trophies from comps are handed out.

jenni
03-09-2005, 05:58 PM
Hi Jenni,

Would you mind explaining how your ladder system works? Where does a new member start on the ladder? How does someone progress up the ladder - do they have to challenge someone above them or are names moved up/ down the ladder based on tournament results? Also, how do you allocate the chess club time - is there time set aside specifically for lessons/ tournament games/ ladder challenges or can kids pretty much choose their own activities? Thanks.

A new member does start at the bottom, but if they are good they progress quickly. I guess if we know someone is really good, we might seed them with a few points to start with.

You challenge from below. so someone on 2 points can challenge someone with the same or more points, but not someone on fewer points. If the guy on the most points is not being challenged we would organise a suitable game. We recalculate the placings each week, so there is a new ladder order each week and the challenges are based on that.

It is all quite flexible. We don't have enough time for formal lessons. Also the school incorporates a middle school, so we have a range of kids from year 5 through to year 12 which makes it really difficult. Last year when the middle school started Tony and I offered to coach for free if they would give us an hour before the club started. We thought we could cycle through a different class each week in middle school and do an hour of coaching and then have the kids come ot the club to play. Unfortunately our offer was turned down.

The kids tend to drift in between 1 and 1:15 and that gives us a 1/2 hour before they have to pack up. Earlier in the year we were pairing kids off and getting them to play proper games. Tony and I would move around, and look at games and point out ideas and offer advice (to the weaker kids - some of the kids there are much stronger than us!). I tend to bring in puzzles and move around doing puzzles with some kids. Other kids really just want to have fun and play transfer and that is OK by us. We try and make it as enjoyable as possible, rather than more school work. I always have a few packets of lollies for the kids.

At the moment we have one of our strong kids, Kishore Sreetharan (ACF 1750+), playing a simul each week with 6 or so of the older kids and the rest playing in the ladder competition.

WhiteElephant
03-09-2005, 06:03 PM
It takes time - you have to get a symphathetic teacher (and there are often more of them than you think! - I can remember going to a teacher interview for one of my kids and the teacher randomly saying they were so glad that we were getting more of a profile for chess. It appears she was into music and felt that sport got far too much attention, so had allied herself with the chess efforts!) Once you have that you can get chess mentioned in the newsletter - student achievements, school results etc.

It took a number of years of pushing for chess, but the school now does recognise chess as a proper co-curricular activity. At assembly ribbons and trophies from comps are handed out.

Yeah I have found the same thing - it is often one pro-chess teacher who makes all the difference. Getting names read out at assembly or a write-up in the newsletter is a relatively simple thing - a teacher puts in a request and it's done. However, this requires one teacher to take the responsibility of being the go-to person for chess. And, with teachers being as busy as they are, many are reluctant to take this on.

Bunta, you are doing the right thing, keep playing in tournaments and representing your school. Once you get a few results on the board, teachers will take notice and hopefully someone will take on the role of chess coordinator. I remember when I started my high school, Melbourne High, there was a premium placed on sports like football, cricket and rowing, but no one gave a stuff about chess. In one year, we had 3 players enter the school, all rated 1300-1700. With the help of our parents we fielded a team and managed to win the state finals. What do you know, suddenly we get a chess coordinator, a lunchtime chess club and chess as a sport elective. Today Melbourne High has strong support for chess, it fields several teams in various competitions and is one of the strongest chess-playing schools in the state.

WhiteElephant
03-09-2005, 06:14 PM
A new member does start at the bottom, but if they are good they progress quickly. I guess if we know someone is really good, we might seed them with a few points to start with.

You challenge from below. so someone on 2 points can challenge someone with the same or more points, but not someone on fewer points. If the guy on the most points is not being challenged we would organise a suitable game. We recalculate the placings each week, so there is a new ladder order each week and the challenges are based on that.

It is all quite flexible. We don't have enough time for formal lessons. Also the school incorporates a middle school, so we have a range of kids from year 5 through to year 12 which makes it really difficult. Last year when the middle school started Tony and I offered to coach for free if they would give us an hour before the club started. We thought we could cycle through a different class each week in middle school and do an hour of coaching and then have the kids come ot the club to play. Unfortunately our offer was turned down.

The kids tend to drift in between 1 and 1:15 and that gives us a 1/2 hour before they have to pack up. Earlier in the year we were pairing kids off and getting them to play proper games. Tony and I would move around, and look at games and point out ideas and offer advice (to the weaker kids - some of the kids there are much stronger than us!). I tend to bring in puzzles and move around doing puzzles with some kids. Other kids really just want to have fun and play transfer and that is OK by us. We try and make it as enjoyable as possible, rather than more school work. I always have a few packets of lollies for the kids.

At the moment we have one of our strong kids, Kishore Sreetharan (ACF 1750+), playing a simul each week with 6 or so of the older kids and the rest playing in the ladder competition.

Thanks, Jenni, that is very helpful. I have tried various strategies in high school chess clubs but have had less success with player retention than in primary schools. In particular, I find that high scools kids can be quite resistant to formal lessons, they just want to get on with it and play games. I know of several schools that use the ladder system successfully, I will try it as well.

jenni
03-09-2005, 06:32 PM
Thanks, Jenni, that is very helpful. I have tried various strategies in high school chess clubs but have had less success with player retention than in primary schools. In particular, I find that high scools kids can be quite resistant to formal lessons, they just want to get on with it and play games. I know of several schools that use the ladder system successfully, I will try it as well.

Good luck. :) High School chess is definitely more of a challenge than primary schools.

arosar
03-09-2005, 06:57 PM
Hey jenni...check out the blog.

AR

antichrist
03-09-2005, 07:01 PM
These posts whilst well-intentioned are just not sufficient. I suggest we recruit Libby and Macavity, both interested in junior chess, to present gigabyte volumes to ensure all bases are covered.

Libby
03-09-2005, 07:06 PM
These posts whilst well-intentioned are just not sufficient. I suggest we recruit Libby and Macavity, both interested in junior chess, to present gigabyte volumes to ensure all bases are covered.
:P

jenni
03-09-2005, 08:10 PM
Hey jenni...check out the blog.

AR

Yeah I read it earlier in the day. I read a paper on this earlier in the year (or was it last year?). It is certainly interesting, but I don't believe a problem in Australia. The junior organisations (where they exist), act as a bridge between the school chess and the sport.

We tend to use the academic benefits as a way to talk schools into promoting chess. The schools comps flow naturally from that and schools once again view it as a way of 'extending" or "enriching" the curriculum. They have very little interest in the chess environment outside of that.

However the ACTJCL uses the schools and the school competitions as a way of publicising the chess clubs and weekend junior competitions. e.g Every kid at Primary school gets a flyer with info on the chess clubs and a calendar of competitions.

Once you have them coming to clubs and competitions, we encourage the best into the development squad, getting a coach, and playing at an adult club and weekenders.

So although the huge numbers in the schools comps don't all end up in the "proper" chess environment, they provide the "base" of the pyramid that enables us to make the whole structure bigger.

Also don't dismiss the value of the huge numbers in the schools comps and playing at schools, although it is intangible. Even if these kids never become part of the real chess environment they have been exposed to chess and hopefully enjoyed it. These kids will become journalists, politicians, teachers and business people. Much easier to get sponsorship, or media exposure from someone who has played the game. e.g. Senator Kate Lundy opened our NECG Camp in Canberra last year. When talking to her afterwards she told me she had played in a chess competition when at school and had enjoyed the experience.