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2014 Junior International Events
#31
Robin,
Posts crossed in the Ether. Re: your point about having an under 8 good enough to go to the World or European Championships. I am sure that Scotland has a couple of players who are good enough. However, there are two big problems.

1. You have to decide whether it is a good idea (from lots of perspectives) to send/encourage a player this young to play a two week long chess tournament

2. How do you identify the best players when they won't have played much and you'll be selecting players who are developing at different rates several months ahead. Things are further complicated because Scotland is sparsely populated, so with the best will in the world junior officials cannot possibly have first hand experience of how well all the U8's in different regions are playing.

Perhaps at the end of the days there are more important things for the development of junior chess in Scotland and too much attention is focused on World and European Championships (I would say this is definitely true in England).
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#32
Very fair points raised by Matt. There are good reasons for not sending U8 and U10 to the pinnacle events as suggested by Matt on the post above and by myself on the post third from bottom on page three of this thread.

However, there are positive aspects to consider also.

1/ If we don't have established U8/ U10 internationalists it becomes more difficult to select U12 and above. Experience of this level of event is extremely useful but not vital.

2/ Some juniors that have competed at younger international age brackets have become an integral part of the Scotland squad. They are also very active players on the congress scene.

3/ The Scotland international junior squad has a "togetherness" and camaraderie that has been built up over many years. We are a small squad and everyone understands that we need to work hard together to get results. New recruits are made most welcome.
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#33
I think U10's and U8's are usually very different and I think there are unique considerations that should go into selecting/encouraging an U8 to play in a major two week long championship. I don't think it is possible to have a regimented policy. If the Junior Director, or selection panel, thinks an U8 is good enough (whatever that means) and will benefit from the experience then in my view the Junior Director has to sit down with the parent(s) and talk it through.
Spending a huge amount of money to send a seven year old half way around the World to play chess for two weeks shouldn't be taken lightly.
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#34
Matt,

On the money front....

At the World Youth, Euroyouth and the EU Youth, the organisers normally provide a "free" place for the Head of Delegation and one coach (full board accommodation). CS pay the flights and transfers for these folks.

Players receive a funded place for one boy and one girl at ages U8-U18. Effectively this means that the junior concerned receives free full board accommodation for the duration of the event.

The parents and the player selected for the funded place have to pay all their own flight and transfer costs, plus normal entry and organisational fees.

The cost to ChessScotland is massive but effectively all players receive an equal part of the CS budget.
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#35
Robin,
I understand all this, but you have to put some numbers in to put things in context. I guess for an U8 to go to the World Youth Championships (with Scotland) in a far flung destination on a 'free' place would cost the parent(s) upwards of £2,500 plus the cost of a parent having time off work/making provision for siblings. For most people that is a huge financial burden. Particularly for an U8 I think you have to be clear that is the right thing to do and the only way you can do that is to have a chat with the parent(s).
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#36
Matt,

The costs involved at all levels of Scottish junior International chess are frightening. There is no back door route or easy way in.

However, everyone needs to try and get things in perspective as far as far as supporting your child at international events. It's not cheap, a long term commitment is needed and deep pockets are helpful.

What do you achieve from it?...

As a parent- the pleasure, pride and satisfaction that your child will have represented your country at the pinnacle world events.

As a junior- On your cv for prospective employers/ university places...you have represented Scotland at events at home and abroad.

Money well spent?
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#37
From a junior selectors view point, I would like to clarify that all age groups are monitored and each player ranked by chess playing performance. The selection process is currently underway and so far we have two players U10 and two U8 that could be eligible for selection. The eligibility is based on comparison with past Scottish performances at major international events at each age group. The selection process is calibrated after each tournament to ensure only those likely to score are considered for selection for future events.
N.B The award of funded places are given for playing ability not by age of player.
Improving the infrastructure or implementing new initiatives may benefit the U10 players and anything of merit is worth pursuing. However I believe the difference between Scotland and larger chess playing nations is more intrinsic than that. e.g. in Russia there is a greater chance that an infant will be introduced to the game at home. Parents, grandparents, uncles etc will most likely be of a high chess playing calibre and will coach the infant in the fundamentals of chess at an early age. In Scotland players will probably start playing chess at a later age and learn the game from their peers.
For me the answer is simple. Introduce chess into the school curriculum. The educational benefits are well documented. Unfortunately the apathetic engagement from those in power to make this happen is equally well known.
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#38
seanmilton Wrote:N.B The award of funded places are given for playing ability not by age of player.
Does this mean that you are implementing the previously mooted are taking funded places from one age group and are giving them to another? FIDE award the places based on age.
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#39
Quote:As a parent- the pleasure, pride and satisfaction that your child will have represented your country at the pinnacle world events.

As a junior- On your cv for prospective employers/ university places...you have represented Scotland at events at home and abroad.

Money well spent?

I am afraid this idea that just attending these events while being wholly uncompetitive is part of the problem. Having something that 'looks good' on your CV should be a secondary consideration.

Given the limited supply of cash most parents have, CS is not doing anyone any favors by selecting players that simply are not YET up to competing at this level. Many parents simply do not appreciate the difference in level between chess education in Scotland and in the leading countries and very few will be able to resist the temptation of going.

While some players will respond positively to the challenge and will go away and come back the following years stronger and better for it but many will find it sole destroying.

I used 'education' above because very often the main difference was not in innate chess ability rather it would be in the theoretical knowledge of openings/endings and perhaps also experience of this level of competition. If a fraction of the monies spent attending these events were spent on getting that education first the players would be significantly stronger. I would argue that its CS's job to make the case and to persuade parents to make that investment.

I fear also that having too many players there who are there for their cv detracts from the focus of the squad and the intensity that can be created.

I am not arguing against players going to events but any events should be of the appropriate level so that they gain the experience in advance of attending the top events when they are older.
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#40
robin moore Wrote:At the World Youth, Euroyouth and the EU Youth, the organisers normally provide a "free" place for the Head of Delegation and one coach (full board accommodation). CS pay the flights and transfers for these folks.

I beg to differ with the above statement.

My children represented Scotland in the EU Youth in Mureck and the Junior World Championships in Slovenia in 2012. The funding for both events was for one ‘Accompanying Official’ only. I have always felt it was not a good use of the CS Junior International Budget to send a HoD to events who did not also act as a coach, as was the case on several occasions in the past.
In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.........
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