Greetings from Nashville, TN!
Every four years, the United States Chess Federation holds the high school, junior high and elementary national chess champtionships all at the same time.
They call it “Supernationals” and it really is amazing. There are over five thousand children here from 50 states and PR.
We drove up yesterday, and brought Sam’s friend, Jordan, with us. They made me laugh last night when I found them like this:
They were instant messaging each other.
This is the INSIDE of the hotel. They even have a river INSIDE the hotel that’s big enough to have motorboat rides on.
I know the picture above isn’t too clear, but we were having fun. This was taken at the opening ceremonies. We all had different opinions about who the best speaker was.
This was Gary Kasparov, which is great and all, but the guy sitting on the far left has an even cooler job. He’s the astronaut who played chess against an elementary school team while he was in the space station for 6 months.
Here’s one of the tournament rooms, all ready for the first round. I wish I could sneak into one of the rooms with my camera while 5000 kids are concentrating on their games. That would be a nifty photograph.
The only times parents can be in the rooms are right before the matches start, if your kid needs a little help getting to the right board. Danny THINKS he doesn’t need any help, but that’s too bad 🙂 See his green bracelet on his left wrist? The kids in the kindergarten section wear those, and when they’re done with their match, the tournament directors in their room take them out and make sure they go with the right parent. It’s much less worrysome for me than the other sections, from which kids can go wandering out into the hotel all by themselves.
This is what George thinks of chess. I think I’m going to join him while the big kids are getting the coaches to go over their second round games… I’ll update you on everyone’s standings tomorrow.