July Q300 Chess update!  Here are the upcoming events (online and otherwise):

  1. This Wednesday July 3 (7:30pm): Lichess Puzzle Night.  The link will be sent out Wednesday to the WhatsApp Lichess group (let me know if you want to join that distribution).
  2. This Sunday July 7 (6:00 – 7:15pm): LiChess NYChessKids Tournament #2.  Inforegistrationlist of entries.  Open to kids + their parents and grandparents.  See “Online tournaments” note below for an interesting update.
  3. Wednesday July 10 (7:30pm): Puzzle Night.
  4. Monday July 8 – 19: NYChessKids chess camp @ Q300.  Featuring both coaches Ivan and Chris Maks.  Spots left!
  5. Wednesday July 17 (7:30pm): Puzzle Night.
  6. Sunday July 21 (6:00 – 7:15pm): LiChess NYChessKids Tournament #3.
  7. Saturday July 27 (7am): Online Match vs. Philippines.  Info coming soon.

Puzzle Night Wednesdays

  • By popular demand, I plan to continue the series for the summer, with the possible exception of July 24 and 31 (vacation).
  • Logistics: I will send the “study” link to the LiChess WhatsApp group on the day of the event (usually a few hours ahead).

Online tournaments

LiChess tournaments are now a big part of our summer plans.  The barrier for participation is now completely gone – a big breakthrough.  Special thanks to Saudin, Lorraine and NYCK team for handling logistics and providing prizes, including for K and 1st grade!
The first tourney took place on June 23, and was a lot of fun.  The “arena” format and faster time control are  certainly new to everyone, and we are still learning how to do it right.  Here is something we conceived in response:

  • This Sunday tournament will feature a newly-added “accurate play” / “fewest blunders” prize.  It will be awarded to the player who played at least 3 games, and made the largest number of moves for every blunder they made.
  • Example: Bobby played 5 games, made a total of 100 moves, and made a total of 20 blunders in those 5 games.  Bobby’s “moves per blunder” is 100 / 20 = 5.
  • To figure out how many blunders you made, see section “Learning from your games” in my LiChess guide.  Basically, when you request a computer analysis, it will show you the blunders you made, and you can view them.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.
  • To be eligible for the prize, you need to send an email after the tournament to nychesskids, with the (a) total number of moves made, and (b) total number of blunders.

I personally feel very strongly about this approach.  There are several goals here:

  1. Balancing the system.  Arena tournaments encourage players to go fast, since the more games you play, the more points you may score. To win this prize, the kids need to play well, not quickly.  Playing quickly is likely to hurt their chances, since they will make more blunders.  And playing more games does not help either, so this should hopefully discourage kids from resigning bad positions just to play extra games.
  2. Learning from games played.  To win the prize, kids are forced to go over their games, and seek answers to questions like “why does the computer think this is a blunder”?  If they can’t figure out the answer, contact the coaches – they will be happy to help.  This is a big opportunity – if they study their games, they will become better players!  I say this as a fact, from decades of experience.  This is an opportunity to use online chess as a learning tool, not just to play (which is great in itself, but this is much better).

Let me know if you have any questions or comments, or other creative ideas!