Archive for January, 2012
The Chess in Schools and Communities Charity is an integral part of the London Classic event and has made great strides in it’s short existence, having introduced an ever growing number of teachers in many schools.
In the spirit of this, I read in Chess Magazine that Malcolm Pein had made a visit to Scott Lake Elementary School in Miami, a school whose chess club has performed well in schools’ competitions at National level under chess coach Cheryl Polite and Principal Valerie Ward. As we were dodging the English winter with some holiday time in Florida after the LCC I asked him if it would be useful for me to do the same. Malcolm visited in May of 2011 along with Jeb Bush, Jr. through whom Malcolm had learned about this school and who also stopped by to watch my attempt. Malcolm had warned me that a couple of the students were quite strong: fortunately I did not get to find out as they had since graduated. The present batch of kids did keep me pretty busy however, both in terms of the chess and also from a physical point of view as the simul was a little hard on the knees as the boards in the middle had the lowest table I ever encountered in a simul, great for little ‘uns but a little tougher for me even though I’m not a giant!
I decided to demonstrate my game against Kotronias from 1992 hoping to inspire another generation of Marshall players!
It seemed to go down okay despite being played long before my audience was born. I then finished with the simul against the students. I brought over a 2010 London Classic program signed by all the players plus 2 impressive bonus signatures of Kasparov and Korchnoi to award for the best game which was secured by Davar Francois, congratulations Davar, keep up the good work!
The LCC has established itself very quickly and was as usual well organized. The addition of an extra player proving an inspired decision, as well as evening up the colours, the concept of having the player not playing that day involved with the commentary proved very popular both with spectators at the venue and large numbers of internet followers.
Even now with some distance from the debacle, it’s hard to explain exactly what went wrong during the chess, I don’t remember such a total wipeout for a long time. The opening positions in my 5 losses should have been quite playable but I made far too many errors thereafter.
I hope things will improve in the New Year!