Hello Northern Virginia parents!
With great excitement, on Saturday, May 5th, I bring you the Wakefield School Elementary Chess Championship!
Open to students in grades first through sixth from any school, this tournament celebrates the joy of chess both as an unparalleled learning tool, and a most enchanting recreation and means of expression. While there will be a trophy awarded for the best score from both sections, as well as permanent plaque recognition for the best participant from The Wakefield School, the true winners are all the participants for doing their best in spirited competition.
There exists a $30 entry fee for early registration, or if space is still available, a $35 fee for same-day registration. Gifted in this fee is a membership with the United States Chess Federation (USCF)! All entrants will be eligible to participate in future official USCF events! He or she will earn an official USCF rating that fluctuates depending on the outcome of each future tournament game. Stay tuned for more local tournaments throughout the year! Space is limited, so sign up now! (Form boxes below will extend if you type past an edge.)
What to expect…
Regarding your child’s level of chess skill– it is only required that the participant has a basic understanding of the rules of chess so that he or she can simply complete a full chess game without too much difficulty. If a rules question arises during the competition, the participant raises a hand, and a tournament director gladly addresses it. While there may be a few chess wizzes present, most participants will not know much more than how the pieces move. This tournament provides a warm introduction for them to the exciting chess activity!
The venue consists of two rooms– a tournament room and a skittles room. The tournament room provides silent competition. The skittles room provides both a waiting area for parents, and a place for children between games to eat, drink, and enjoy calm activities.
Parents with children are encouraged to arrive as early as 8:15AM, but no later than 8:45AM. Late arrivals will not participate. At 8:50AM simple yet important tournament procedures will be announced. The first round of games will commence at 9:00AM. Each game can possibly last up to one hour. Once all games complete, the results enter a computer, then the second round parings are created. After four rounds complete, the event concludes, and a single winner is awarded for the first-grade through third-grade section, and fourth-grade through sixth-grade section, and for the best participant from Wakefield School!
Following simple tournament procedure is an important part of the event, both for the growth and satisfaction of the participants, as well as for the effectiveness of the tournament director.
At the beginning of each round the tournament director posts a pairing sheet on a main information wall. Each contestant, possibly with the help of a parent, finds his or her name matched with an opponent and board number. This board number corresponds to a board number clearly labeled in the tournament hall. The player then finds his or her board, and sits down, ready to play. When all players are seated, the tournament director instructs the players to shake hands, and begin play. Silence is preserved as much as possible in the tournament hall during rounds, though with small children some noise is expected. Players may visit the bathroom at any time. If a player has a question or issue, he or she raises a hand, and the tournament director walks over and addresses the situation. When the game is over, both players raise their hands. When the tournament director arrives, the players tell him the result of the game. Once the tournament director has confirmed the result, the players retreat to the skittles room to wait for the next round.
If your child needs to miss a round, or leave early, please inform the tournament director so that your child is not erroneously paired with a participant during the next round– this creates the situation in which another child expects to play a tournament game, but is let down when his opponent doesn’t show up. Thus, please be respectful to fellow families by informing the director if your child needs to miss a game.
Parents are welcome to ensure their child finds the correct board. At the start of each round all parents are expected to retreat to the skittles room to wait for their child. The playing duration is the exciting time for the players to be away from their parents to think for themselves!
While chess has many growth aspects, one of the most effective is its ability to build character. It is fact that every chess tournament player, from weakest to strongest, loses approximately fifty percent of his or her games. (Personally, I’ve lost 241 tournament games so far!) While there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with losing a chess game, it can feel discouraging. Thus, what is most healthy for children is that their parents maintain a positive attitude and remind their children that the goal of a chess game is not to win, but for them to do their best. If they’ve done their best, then it’s an occasion for them to receive proud congratulations!
Schedule: Saturday, May 5th, 2018
8:15AM: Check-in opens
If you already pre-registered, simply let the tournament director know you’ve arrived.
If you still need to register (and if space is still available), tell the tournament director, and he will request the $35 fee, then hand you a simple form requesting your child’s name, address, and birth-date. Your child will now have a one year USCF membership, which allows him or her to participate in this and other tournaments for a full year!
8:45AM: Check-in ends
Because the schedule must be maintained for the enjoyment of all, late check-ins will not participate. Please appreciate our situation by arriving well in advance.
8:50AM: Important Announcements
The tournament director will welcome the participants, explain the basic procedure for each round, and review some simple tournament rules.
9:00AM: Round 1
10:15AM OR EARLIER: Round 2
Round 2 will start shortly after all games complete, but no later than 10:15.
11:30AM OR EARLIER: Round 3
Round 3 will start shortly after all games complete, but no later than 11:30.
12:45PM OR EARLIER: Round 4
Round 4 will start shortly after all games complete, but no later than 12:45.
2:00PM OR EARLIER: Final results posted, possible blitz playoff
The final results of the tournament will be posted on the information wall. In the event of first place ties in either section, the finalists will participate in a “blitz playoff” in which a chess clock is used to allow each player a total of five minutes for all of his or her moves (thus the game can only last for a maximum of ten minutes.) The winner of the playoff is crowned the winner of the event, and will receive the annual trophy!
Tournament location, director contact
The tournament will take place at the beautiful Wakefield School in The Plains, Virginia. Special thanks goes out to Jennifer Austell of Wakefield for her logistical efforts to make this event possible!
4439 Old Tavern Road
The Plains, VA 20198
(The School rests a short distance off Highway 66 at exit 31 north. Enter the lunch room from the campus center.)
For additional inquiries, I can be contacted at the email below.