At Nationals.

What a crazy day!  I took so many fun photos, of the kids and their friends playing chess, of their coaches, and of Dixon’s fiftieth birthday party… but my CF card reader is being VERY uncooperative, so I only have a few photos to show you today.  Tomorrow is mother’s day, so it better understand who’s boss in the morning.

I thought perhaps I’d show you how chess tournaments work.   First, before each round, you have to fight through crowds of tall parents to find out what each of your children is supposed to do.

Danny’s in the section called K-1 Championship.  K-1 means kindergarten and first grade, championship means that children with the highest national ratings can play in this section… although of course Danny and some of the others do NOT have high ratings 🙂  There are 302 kids from 39 states in this division.  It’s not exactly the top 7.7 children per state, some states have more, like New York and Texas. 

Then once you’ve found the right board for your child’s section, you find their name.  See Danny, circled in red?  Then you can see, in blue, that he plays with the black pieces on board 127, against a kid (in green) named Dean Noble, from New York. 

Then you, Danny and the Violetmobile find board 127.  He sits on the black side.

Then Emily helps him fill out his paperwork… the official score sheet that gets signed by both players at the end of the match, agreeing who won, and Danny’s notation pad.  Notation means that throughout the match, Danny will write down all of his moves and all of his opponent’s moves so that his coach can review them after the match.   I have the sweetest photo of Danny and his coach, but I can’t rescue it from my CF card… maybe tomorrow Sam can fix it.

Speaking of notation, here’s Brian, hiding behind his notation booklet.  Although not usually a superstitious child, he’s been wearing a wool hat this weekend, thinking that perhaps it’s helping him win.   We’ll see…. he’s been playing some REALLY tough opponents.

One potential tough opponent would be his cousin, David, because they are in the same section.  There are 365 children from 40 states in their section, which is called K-5 U900.  This means it’s for kids up through fifth grade who are nationally rated, but those national ratings are under 900.  The kids rated over 900 play in the K-5 Championship section (like the K-1 championship section for Danny) 

Susan’s son, William, is in this section too.  It’s a good division, even if the goofiness factor is rather high 🙂

William’s brother, JP, and Sam both have ougrown Elementary nationals, so they hang out and play with each other instead… and not just chess – Frisbee in Olympic Park seems to be popular this weekend… JP got to go to high school nationals in Ohio, Sam didn’t.   Maybe next year. 

And this is the last picture I rescued from my card before the card reader died – my other nephew, Nicholas, who is playing in the K-3 section.  Oh gosh, I forgot.  Speaking of Nicholas, he and Sam were paired up as cousins today, because Sam (and JP and my sister, Jane) did get to play some competitive chess.  There is a side tournament that goes on for parents, relatives and friends… each big kid or parent plays four rounds with other big kids or parents, and then their number of points is combined with their child’s (or cousin’s, or brother’s, etc) wins.  Since there are fewer teams of two playing as cousins than brothers, Sam entered as Nicholas’s cousin… so he’s hoping Nicholas wins lots of his games, since I think Sam only won one or two points today.  Jane is the reigning “Aunt-Nephew team” national champion for two years in a row.  In general, she and whichever son of mine she pairs up with are the only ones in that category, so her solitary point earned today shouldn’t keep her from maintaining her coveted status 🙂

That’s all the photos I can get today.  Tomorrow I’ll have Sam see if he can fix my card reader, so you can see Dixon’s birthday party… there are two more rounds of the tournament tomorrow, but I suspect you’ve seen your fill of chess photos, so I’ll spare you 🙂 .

2 thoughts on “At Nationals.

  1. If anyone asks me how the tournament works I am going to send them a link to this! I don’t know what you lost, but these pictures sure are great. Thanks.

  2. Happy Mother’s Day to you and Jane! What a wonderful way to spend the day with your sister, with all your children surrounding you and your husbands too.

    I thought the photos were wonderful and I an volunteering to suffer through more – tee hee!

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