Archive for July, 2017

Chess: Millenials Match – World vs US Under 17

Going into the last day, the star of the event is undoubtedly Australian Anton Smirnov. Sixteen years old and board 4, his performance rating is 2725, ie he is playing, as at the last Olympiad, at super Grand Master strength, defined as plus 2700.

Anton gets very few chances to advance his official rankings in chess. He is still at school – even going to the Olympiad last year meant missing a term – and if you live in Australia you are simply too far away to play seriously. It’s all the more amazing that when he does get these rare chances overseas, he shines. Imagine what he’d be like if he had the natural advantages of somebody like Carlsen, living in the thick of strong chess action all the time. I know, I’ve written about this before.

The last day’s play starts in half an hour as I write, Anton’s playing board 2, black against Sevian.

July 29, 2017 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

Chess in schools: two TV news stories

Two stories a couple of days ago in the English press about chess in schools. The BBC had a short report headed by a kid saying ‘Chess makes me feel less angry’. Of the many reasons touted for playing chess that’s a new one for me. You can see the report here.

The other, longer report, was on ITV. It reported on Park End Primary in Middlesbrough UK. The first half of the story is entirely expected, kids playing chess and loving it. But then it moves into the school staff room where free teachers were playing chess. All the teachers in the school play, it’s required. Lessons are also provided for parents. It was really nice to see one teacher, I’m guessing the sports teacher, talking about how unlikely he found it that he would like chess and yet there was was, engrossed. One of the female teachers talked about discovering her competitive side which she hadn’t ever realised existed. Fascinating! You can see that one here.

July 29, 2017 at 2:58 am Leave a comment


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