Tuesday, December 4, 2012

grade nationals 2012

I took today off to recover from the weekend. We didn't have a team room (CIS used to get it for us) so I analyzed in my pretty small (esp once I've stolen 2 extra chairs from students rooms) hotel room all weekend. I shouldn't complain-- in many ways I prefer it to a team room-- it's not freezing cold, strangers don't bother you, there isn't some other coach with a booming voice analyzing right next to you, I can drink endless cups of tea, etc.

I mostly worked with the 6th and 7th graders and I learned a lot about the new kids. One thing that stood out is how big of a difference in learning curve exists between an incoming 6th grader who is 1300 and started playing chess one year ago and a 6th grader with the same rating who started three years ago.

I only took pictures the first day though...  they started looking all the same to me and I felt discouraged.

We won the 8th, came second in 7th, and tied for 3rd in 6th.

There was a Brookstone at JFK where an employee was flying little planes around the hallway, and it looked too awesome to pass up and on sale for $25. So I played with it happily for an hour at the start of round one, then I said goodbye, gave it to a kid to try, and it was broken within 10 minutes.

Watching Mubassar intently preparing with my laptop before round 7, I thought: Why haven't I borrowed the laptop cart every day, install Chessbase, Mega2013, and chesspublishing databases, and an engine, and had the top kids make a tree of all their opening lines and make game files for every variation and spend all their time looking at GM games in their lines? They would be totally into it, and I wouldn't have to do anything except install the programs and explain what to do/what the final product should look like. I'm very happy to have had that realization.

I am happy Elizabeth Warren has been appointed to the banking commission.



Andre said...

Ho wyou do this: "tree of all their opening lines and make game files for every variation and spend all their time looking at GM games in their lines"

Elizabeth Vicary said...

We'll do it in chessbase: each kid makes his own tree starting from the opening handout, adding ideas from their own games, GM games and Fritz.

Also a my games file.

gurdonark said...

Congratulations on the wins.

That's a good idea about drawing up an opening tree. It would be fun to do. It would be fun, too, to map one's actual games against what theoretically was in the tree, to figure out how to handle variations. My rough memory of opening prep in my teens was that it was frustrating to learn all the "right" lines and not know how to handle the "wrong" ones.

Though I like the analog things like little planes, your story makes me want to find a virtual plane for my computer, so that I could have the same sensation but without the fear of breakage. On the other hand, I got a little camera plane last year--and never have yet used it. I want to take pictures of panoramas.

Koji said...

You need to make a giant montage of kids all in that exact pose! That would be pretty cool.

Check2Check said...

Do those chessboards in the photo's really have light blue squares or is it just a trick of the lighting? I have been looking for a vinyl roll up with light blue squares for some time now but can only find royal and navy blue.

If indeed they are I'd like to purchase a couple. Do you know where I could buy them?

Also, in some of your older photos in class it seems you have what looks like avocado-green squared roll up boards that the kids use. It's a different shade from all the green boards I've ever seen. Wouldn't mind finding some of them either. Do you know where I could get them?