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2014 Junior International Events
#11
Looking over the posts above on this thread,

How do folks feel about a motion being raised at the AGM for year 2014-2015 which asks adult congress players to compulsory pay £2 (40p per game) and allegro players £1 (20p per game) on top of their entry fee in the knowledge that it will be used to directly benefit Scottish International Junior chess?

Successful congresses and allegros are a vitally important part of the Scottish chess scene. It would increase the price of tournament entries but could have longer term benefits to the game in Scotland.

All thoughts welcomed.
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#12
I don't doubt it will raise funds for juniors, I also don't doubt it will reduce tournament entry numbers.
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#13
Robin,
Interesting idea but as I have argued previously I do not think that sending junior players to international events is necessarily the best way to improve the long term future of chess in Scotland. I have no doubt that if the right players play more international events they will get better however if you define 'long term future' as an increasing numbers of players then I suspect funding a few juniors is unlikely to do this. I would also argue that actually the money would be better spent on for example engaging the services of an experienced coach to develop a Scottish Chess School that would better chess-educate both the players and their coaches.

Personally I think that the future of scottish chess is about ensuring that players keep playing, at all levels and ages.

Do not misunderstand me - I am not arguing against the ideal or the indeed the necessity to provide funding for playing abroad representing Scotland, I am just not convinced that one does this for the long term future of chess in Scotland.
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#14
Mike Scott Wrote:Interesting idea but as I have argued previously I do not think that sending junior players to international events is necessarily the best way to improve the long term future of chess in Scotland. I have no doubt that if the right players play more international events they will get better however if you define 'long term future' as an increasing numbers of players then I suspect funding a few juniors is unlikely to do this. I would also argue that actually the money would be better spent on for example engaging the services of an experienced coach to develop a Scottish Chess School that would better chess-educate both the players and their coaches.
Personally I think that the future of scottish chess is about ensuring that players keep playing, at all levels and ages.
Do not misunderstand me - I am not arguing against the ideal or the indeed the necessity to provide funding for playing abroad representing Scotland, I am just not convinced that one does this for the long term future of chess in Scotland.

I completely agree with Mike's comments.

Looking at the long term future of chess in Scotland re juniors I believe it would make much more sense to play the numbers game. Chess Scotland should think about a programme which involves setting chess clubs up within Scottish schools. This would allow hundreds of thousands of juniors to experience chess and those who really enjoy playing chess could be encouraged to join their local chess clubs. If only 1% of school pupils involved carried on playing chess into adulthood this would increase the numbers of people playing chess in Scotland dramatically, eg in 2013 there were 673,530 pupils in publicly funded schools; 1% of this is 6735 Wink

Obviously setting up chess clubs in Scottish schools is a huge task, but hey, if the all party Parliamentary group lobbying next month for for chess to be recognized as a sport is successful there might be funding available to make this a possibilty. Fingers crossed :-bd
In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.........
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#15
Thanks for the feedback so far. My idea behind congress/allegro players making an additional contribution was that all prospective junior internationalists tend to play these events in order to enhance their chances of being selected.

I was hoping that the (possible) added juniors playing may offset the (possible) decline in entrants. This is obviously far from clear but I strongly suspect that regular tournament players wish to have the best improving juniors participating, want to support them and feel this is a reasonable way to do so.
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#16
Hi Robin,
On reflection I can see an argument for the Open players making a contribution because they are the ones that benefit directly from an increase in the numbers of strong players. Not sure what benefit there is to the players in the other sections of having a few more players in the open - other than perhaps enjoying the sight of senior players getting humbled.

The problem of increasing the numbers that stay playing and improving the strength of the elite require separate solutions. I suspect however, as Linda suggested, if you solve the former, you will take a step towards solving the latter. Actually I would go further and say that if you a system that was designed to improve the playing strength of juniors at all levels would help retain players.
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#17
Mike Scott Wrote:The problem of increasing the numbers that stay playing and improving the strength of the elite require separate solutions. I suspect however, as Linda suggested, if you solve the former, you will take a step towards solving the latter. Actually I would go further and say that if you a system that was designed to improve the playing strength of juniors at all levels would help retain players.

I believe Mike is right - as whilst players are at Primary they are happy to play at any level but once they move up to Secondary it seems only the 'better' players are retained. Its like they play for fun, which is great, but the mind set seems to be that when they get older they need to be at a higher competitive level & if not there they give up. At International level some in the top 5 drop out because its always the top (maybe top2) player/s in the age group that seems to get the International invites & their grade gets better & better leaving the others behind. I believe that the ones left behind then give up because they see the gap too big. Obviously there are other factors that come into this like other interests. However, if there was a better coaching scheme in place it might help to bring more on. But like anything its all very well having suggestions but who is actually going to do the work.

I appreciate that there are junior training days already in place but an actual programme might be enough to encourage more to participate as lot of the 'talented' players dont seem to attend the sessions. Of course there is then the danger that you frighten a lot away as the fun is taken away & too much pressure put on.

Although online coaching might help a few & in some cases be no alternative due to location, you still cant beat face to face coaching. Maybe local clubs could run a junior coaching session once a month as the problem with any coaching programme is you are then relying on peoples goodwill to be the coaches & running a club where there is coaching weekly puts too much pressure on the coaches so its swings & roundabouts & somehow a balance needs to be found that suits all.
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#18
A lot of very good points raised here. On the coaching front, regarding online coaching in particular, I am obviously not up to date on this. Guys like Calum MacQueen and Andrew Green are in a far better position to explain the present situation regarding coaching on all fronts and the benefits/drawbacks.

However, I had a look through the Edinburgh congress results. To my knowledge, the numbers below have received online coaching in the past and may still be doing so now. I looked at Scottish U17 and under...

Premier 3/3
Challengers 5/6
Major 3/4
Bishops 3/4
Knights 4/15 (there are a good number of younger local players who I have no idea about)
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#19
robin moore Wrote:A lot of very good points raised here. On the coaching front, regarding online coaching in particular, I am obviously not up to date on this. Guys like Calum MacQueen and Andrew Green are in a far better position to explain the present situation regarding coaching on all fronts and the benefits/drawbacks.

However, I had a look through the Edinburgh congress results. To my knowledge, the numbers below have received online coaching in the past and may still be doing so now. I looked at Scottish U17 and under...

Premier 3/3
Challengers 5/6
Major 3/4
Bishops 3/4
Knights 4/15 (there are a good number of younger local players who I have no idea about)

Robin, I appreciate that this looks good on the surface but without sounding too negative do we know how many have given up chess because the additional coaching all be it online or not (a) took the fun out of it (b) put too much pressure on them or how many have not improved since having online coaching. The latter is not necessarily any reflection on the coaches but perhaps more to do with adapting play between screen & over the board.

If (emphasis on the IF) the resources are there maybe the old system of a Junior Squad training day could be set up. This would be most valuable in the lead up to the Glorney festival. To be honest would be much more beneficial than having coaches at the event imo.
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#20
Jacqui Thomas Wrote:
robin moore Wrote:A lot of very good points raised here. On the coaching front, regarding online coaching in particular, I am obviously not up to date on this. Guys like Calum MacQueen and Andrew Green are in a far better position to explain the present situation regarding coaching on all fronts and the benefits/drawbacks.

However, I had a look through the Edinburgh congress results. To my knowledge, the numbers below have received online coaching in the past and may still be doing so now. I looked at Scottish U17 and under...

Premier 3/3
Challengers 5/6
Major 3/4
Bishops 3/4
Knights 4/15 (there are a good number of younger local players who I have no idea about)

Robin, I appreciate that this looks good on the surface but without sounding too negative do we know how many have given up chess because the additional coaching all be it online or not (a) took the fun out of it (b) put too much pressure on them or how many have not improved since having online coaching. The latter is not necessarily any reflection on the coaches but perhaps more to do with adapting play between screen & over the board.

If (emphasis on the IF) the resources are there maybe the old system of a Junior Squad training day could be set up. This would be most valuable in the lead up to the Glorney festival. To be honest would be much more beneficial than having coaches at the event imo.

Jacqui,

I understand your concerns that (internet) coaching may be putting juniors off playing because of pressure or chess becoming too formal and not fun but I disagree.

Coaching online isn't new, I know of many people in England and across the world who have coaching online with coaches from abroad. I think it's an excellent idea making use of all the technology possible to give access to talented, motivated juniors the level of support they want. I have six students, four from Aberdeen, one from Ayr and one from Glasgow. I wouldn't be able to help any of them on a regular basis without the internet. I think we've gone huge strides to helping our young stars become really strong players.

To your points a) and b) above I'd say that the (admittedly informal) feedback is all positive: all coaches who are involved are highly motivated and can be seen between rounds at congresses looking over students games face-to-face. The juniors really enjoy the sessions and as Robin posted above are clearly benefitting from them.

I’d like to organise some junior training days during summer for the Glorney but in my mind there’s no substitute for regular, good quality coaching. It’s impossible to offer training weekends every weekend but it’s very simple to sit down in front of your computer for an hour (usually more, I think my record is two hours) and talk to a 2000+ player about how to improve.

Thanks,
Calum

PS. Trying to get a junior website up and running soon with details of coaching but until then if you’re interested and want to know more please email me at <!-- e --><a href="mailto:JuniorInternational@ChessScotland.com">JuniorInternational@ChessScotland.com</a><!-- e -->. If you’re interested in over the board lessons I can try help you as much as possible as well.
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