The Hull Summer School of Chess, organised by the Hull and District Chess Association, was a great success.
Hymers College proved to be a magnificent venue, with plenty of space both inside and out and a wonderful main hall.
It was a great honour and pleasure for me to be part of the team and it was very good to be reunited with old friends and to get to know people who were new to me.
40 children enrolled for the three days and they were sorted into groups from complete beginners to more advanced players.
We delivered lessons throughout the main part of each day and had three special events, featuring all of the players, during the afternoons.
The first special event was a simultaneous display performed by Dan Staples and myself, working in tandem. We managed to lose our queens on a couple of the boards, but we strongly suspect they were simply lifted off when we were not looking. Other pieces left the same way and on some boards we were clearly facing a move-ratio of rather more than 1:1. It was hard work fighting back from such large deficits but we managed to prevail in the end for a 40-0 scoreline.
On the second afternoon we were treated to Noel's excellent prize team quiz, featuring questions from easy to very difficult.
The big finale on the final day was the Lightning Chess Championship, in which all 40 children competed and were actually pin-drop quiet for nearly two full hours, which must have made a good impression when the parents arrived.
Here is a gallery capturing some of the action and characters from our very busy week. A second gallery will follow in the next blog post.
Regular readers will already know how magnificent Jo is and how much I value her company and assistance. Jo played in the recent Teesside International Women's Invitation Championship too and is one of the stars of this month's CHESS Magazine.
The simultaneous display in action.
'Dan! Did you just lose our queen...!?'
It's all about the tea.
The great Dan Staples - excellent tutor, key CSC member and very loyal friend.
The brains are working on checkmate problems. This shot was not even posed; they really did work hard all of the time!
Hymers really is an excellent venue.
Unfortunately, Jo couldn't make it for the third and final day but we will hopefully work together again very soon.
Noel's quiz certainly sorted out the chess lovers from the 'casuals'!
The smiles are more important than finding the best moves. People learn more if they are having fun.
SOS: Send more tea bags - now!
SOS: Please send more cups too!
Dan sportingly played with just a king and one pawn to give his young opponent a good chance of winning.
Three boards up - and Noel took a different approach. Dominate the centre! Push back the opponent as quickly as possible!
The week went very quickly indeed and it was soon time to hand out the prizes. Every child received a certificate and we had medals and books (kindly supplied by CSC) for the most successful players in each of the three afternoon events.
Best Simultaneous Games: Theo, Nicholas, Erin and Luke
Quiz Champions: Noah, Isaac, Harry, Theo and Stanley
Lightning Chess Championship: 1st Erin, 2nd Aiden, 3rd Nicholas, 4th Stanley
Michael, Dan and Noel, depicted here on the stage at the very end of the event, were instrumental in making the week such a great success. I am also very grateful to Jo, Stephen, David and everyone else (juniors, adults and parents) who all made me feel very welcome.
I want to work again in Hull and to take an active part in their expansion plans.
Two more galleries will follow, so stay tuned...