I was lucky enough to attend the half term chess camp during the first two days of the February half term. On the first day, the two coaches were International Master Richard Pert, and Robin Slade (both very good chess players and coaches), assisted by Scott, an important member of the KEGS chess team. On the second day, Richard was yet again among the coaches, this time along with International Master Adam Hunt, again assisted by Scott.
During the course of the two days, players of all abilities improved and learned lots. Our days began with a coaching session where we went through games played by some of the best in the game i.e. Gary Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen and Bobby Fischer. We learnt how to think like a grandmaster, working out their next moves and even getting them right (sometimes)! What really impressed me, was that some of the most inexperienced players, managed to write a full game down with no mistakes, something that many players find difficult, which shows how much progress was made in just two days.
We also had time outside to play, most boys and some girls played football; Scott proved himself to be a good goalkeeper! During the breaks and lunch, as well as having our own lunch and snacks, we were given biscuits and drinks. We also had the option to stay inside and play even more chess if we wanted to.
A particularly interesting section was studying common and more complicated traps in the openings, middle games and endings and how to avoid them and also how to use them ourselves.
Over the course of the two days, we played three games while practising writing our moves down. There were prizes for players who won all three games, players on the winning team and players who wrote moves down to perfection for the first time.
I feel very fortunate to have taken part in the two days, and would like to thank Richard, Robin, Adam and Scott who gave up their time to make this possible for everyone.
I’m already looking forward to the summer camp!