Christmas Chess Camp week 2

December 21st-24th

Swiss Cottage

Both my boys loved the camp!


by coach Andres

The winter chess camp was a very important one, for both the kids and the coaches. It was the perfect opportunity to take a break from a tough year, and enjoy the holidays by making new friends and playing a few games of chess. Regardless of the group, the tournament always ends up being tight, but not as much as this one. Before the last two rounds the top 4 players were within 2 points of each other, and ended up with a triple tie for second! Overall, the kids enjoyed the camp, and were keen to participate in the joke time sections and lessons.
I’ve been coaching at chess camps for 3 years, but this was my first time being head coach. I would say that the one difference was that being head coach was more tiring, as I had to keep track of more responsibilities. It was also more gratifying to see that kids were having fun, and enjoying the experience.

First place in the tournament was Leo, who was consistently within the top players throughout the week and stood out in the last day. As three players tied up (Leo, Alon and Gaspard), we would have had to play at least 3 playoff games but we didn’t have time for that. Instead, the average number of points of their opponents throughout the week was used as a tiebreaker. This put Gaspard in second place and Alon in third place. 

Leah was chosen as the most improved player because she was the one the applied lessons best. For example, she was taught the two rooks checkmate and was able to apply it in her next game. She was also taught how to notate a game of chess and was keen to do so in her next game as well.

Emilie was the best sportsperson as regardless of the result of her games, she happily congratulated her opponents. She was also often the first one to do what coaches asked the kids to do.

by coach Eric

Throughout the camp, I was struck by the group’s enthusiasm and ability to learn- several of the kids were complete beginners at the beginning of the week but had already proven themselves as competent players by the end. As a coach, it was incredible to see the reception from the kids during the lessons and then have them transfer it into their games.

There were also several extremely talented players in the group, making for an exciting and tense tournament – a three way race between Alfie, Alex and Ethan. My favourite moment was during the lunch break when Ethan declared that he was now the coach! His conviction definitely persuaded me!

Most Improved: Gene

Gene is a keen student with a clear affinity for chess- at only 5 years old, he rapidly picked up the concepts presented to him in the lessons. This was reflected in his impressive tournament score, placing 4th amongst strong kids several years older than him. Gene will be a great prospective player for the future if he keeps it up!

Sayuri- Best Sportsmanship
Sayuri impressed me throughout the week with her positive attitude, making the atmosphere of the whole group more fun for everyone. Her attentiveness and willingness to help others made her a rapidly improving player, as well as a great sport who respected the game and her opponents. A class act!