Monday 23 April 2018

Project 30: Chess for Life Event (3)

Project 30's big chess event brought GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan to Yarm School for a full day of exciting activities.

In the first part of our special report we looked at the lectures and in the second we recalled the practical exercises.

Immediately after the short lunch break it was time to set up for the big simultaneous display, in which our stars would play alternate moves (known as a 'tandem simultaneous display') on 32 separate boards. This is a very large number of people to play simultaneously. Most displays feature 20 people, give or take a couple.

The point of such events is to level up the playing field as much a possible. The titled players are clearly better at chess than anyone else in the room but their strength is potentially diluted by having to move as soon as they appear at each board, by the potential differences in their independent plans and by having to think about 32 different positions, all going on at the same time.

Juniors - aged eight upwards - were joined by parents, teachers and a couple of local club players.

Just before play started, the competitors were given the opportunity to buy a copy of Chess for Life and to have it signed by Natasha and Matthew. We were very pleasantly surprised by how many people made the most of the opportunity!

The games were a delight to watch, as Matthew and Natasha sped around the big square of tables, both concentrating hard so as not to fall for any devious traps.

Showing real class, the stars allowed the players a choice of colour and even played a second game against those who lost within the first hour or so.

There were lots of great games before the final checkmate was delivered, making it a score of at least 32-0 to our visitors (plus however many extra games they allowed - possibly closer to 40-0 in total).

What a fabulous display!

Congratulations to everyone who took part and especially to Matthew and Natasha, who kept smiling and encouraging all of the players throughout the event.

There are still a few more reports to come, as we have lots more pictures and some moments from the games to show.

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