or the QR code below.
I am trying to build up my Youtube Channel for chess. Basically it is a channel for beginners to intermediate players, i.e. USCF 0-1500+. I will need your help to get more subscribers. My first goal is 1000 subscribers. You can help with one-click subscibing which takes 3 seconds. If you have friends who are interested in chess or who want to learn chess, please help forward my channel to them. That will be even more helpful to all of us.
or the QR code below.
Many of you know that I have a 2-year course for 5334. Basically I tried to solve one problem per page every week on the spot. I have the week by week progress on this blog site. Now I am trying to move the whole course to Youtube so more people can access it.
Here is the Youtube list: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF6enq3h4vUxpK3GJRXfjb6RJ3EZeEVVG
Please feel free to use it. Hopefully it can be helpful to you.
If you like it, please subscribe to my channel. I am planning to add more contents to the channel.
I have discussed the importance of in-person tournaments, so I won't repeat.
Checking the USCF TLA site: https://new.uschess.org/upcoming-tournaments, I found it's too cumbersome to search state by state. Because my students are all over the country, searching this way will not allow me to help them much. So I tried to re-organize the list with the help of simple programming. Here is the result.
If you read English:
If you read Chinese:
To limit the size of the list, the list covers next two weeks. I will refresh it every week.
Hopefully this could help you start searching for in-person tournaments.
The answer is maybe.
In person provides great interactive opportunities with the teacher, and classmates. That can give the kids more motivation and keep them interested in chess. That's one benefit. But is in person definitely better?
I don't think so. I have taught in person and online both for last 7 years. From my observation, online students are more motivated to learn and more eager to play in tournaments. That's more important than just coming in and showing attendance. I always try my best to make my online class interactive. I ask a lot of questions, so the students have the chance to participate. More participation, better progress.
One advantage for online class is everything can be recorded. Even if a student misses a class, he could watch the video and catch up. So I always have a long syllabus for online class. We can arrange our learning for the whole year. In person classes have to be cut into each quarter. So the knowledge might not be evenly spread out. We also need spend some time to repeat some lessons for each quarter because students always change.
Another disadvantage for in-person class is: there is no score sheet for in-class games, so it's not possible for the teacher to review students' games. Online games always have the score sheets which the teacher can review at any time.
Another issue with in-person class is that not all students can have access to an in-person class. I have students from everywhere, from east coast to California, Texas, to Canada. With internet, all can take my lessons.
If you don't have USCF membership, you should think about signing up that first, because all rated tournaments require the membership. You can sign up here. Or you can check out my old blog: http://www.chessparents.net/blog/how-to-become-a-uscf-member
After you have the membership, use the methods I discussed a few days ago to search for a tournament. Usually the tournament announcement will tell you how to sign up, and how to pay the entry fee. Sometimes you have to mail-in the signup form and check, but nowadays almost everyone moves to online. You can fill up form and pay online directly. There are some tournaments you don't need pre-signup. Just show up and pay the entry fee onsite.
As some old saying says, do it once or twice, you will know everything.
One parent asked: "My child will play in Chicago Class tomorrow. I read the rule. It says that we have to bring our own equipment. I don't have chess sets. What should I do?"
After asking a few more questions, we knew this would be the child's first OTB tournament, and she would play in the unrated section. This makes our answer a little easier.
For anyone's first tournament, you don't need worry about equipment. Just go there and play. If both you and your opponent don't have chess sets, you (and TD) should always be able to borrow one set from other players. If there is no chess sets to borrow, for big tournaments like Chicago Class, there is always some chess vendor on site, you could buy one from them. And for unrated section, clock is usually not required. Therefore there is no need to worry about anything.
US is different from most other countries in the world, the organizers are not providing chess equipment, other than the scholastic tournaments. So players have to bring their own sets. If you want to buy a set, I suggest to buy it at wholesalechess.com. You can use the link on the right of this blog, which is embedded with my credential so you are supporting my blog. If you want to buy a clock, my suggestion is "DGT North American Chess Clock". But I suggest you search online first to compare prices. The prices of clocks are different from site to site, also the difference is not small.
But even if you don't have any equipment, you are welcomed by most TDs at most tournaments.
I have written couple of times I don't favor scholastic tournaments. Some parents would always ask me why. Let me explain this one more time.
I am not completely against scholastic tournaments. When a kid just starts out with chess, s/he needs such tournaments. They can be finished in one afternoon or one day. There are trophies, which provide great motivation for beginners. I am against scholastic tournaments because I have seen numerous examples that students can't grow out of scholastic tournaments. They have wasted their talents and totally destroyed their potential. It's a very sad reality to watch.
Comparing to adult tournaments, scholastic tournaments usually are of shorter time control, such as 30 minutes. Players are not as serious as those in adult tournaments. Most importantly, most strong scholastic players are no longer playing scholastic tournaments. Where do they go? Adult tournaments. As we all know, if you want to grow in chess, you have to play against stronger players. That's why those stuck in scholastic tournaments can never grow up.
Therefore, after a kid has played in scholastic tournaments for a year or two years, s/he should consider to wean from scholastic tournaments or s/he can't become an adult.
As the World Open just concluded, parents are starting to ask where can I find in-person tournaments. Most new parents have been using online tournaments last year. Their kids never experienced the in-person ones. Believe me it's completely different experience.
How to locate a tournament? Basically there are 6 ways.
First search on uschess.org, with this link: https://new.uschess.org/upcoming-tournaments. You can search for your state or nearby states. Many states have their tournaments listed there, but not everyone does.
So second, check your state organization website. It may be called federation, such as NJ, or association, such as Ohio. Doesn't matter which name. Just search for "state name chess association" you should be able to find the website. Usually there is a page listed with recent tournaments.
Third, if you know which school or which organization is organizing tournaments, go to their websites. They should have a schedule for future tournaments.
Fourth, some states may have some aggregation sites for scholastic tournaments, such as New York City. It has http://luckfactory.com/nyc_chess_calendar.html.
Fifth, use CCA website: https://chessaction.com/ They always organize big tournaments. Their tournaments are also listed on uschess.org.
Last, ask other parents. Also you go to tournaments or classes, watch out for handouts.
I am running out of questions. I seems to have touched almost all kinds of topics for someone who starts to learn chess. You are still welcome to ask any questions, or you can search my INDEX first to see if there is any older articles that discuss your questions.
I am changing the style of this blog from answering parents' questions to discussing anything I feel interesting, most likely still related to chess.
With the OTB chess coming back, and the World Open is finishing in Philadelphia right this moment, the whole chess world is coming back. Although I have been teaching online classes during the pandemic year, and organizing free online tournaments for 400+ days now, I also try to come back to classrooms in September. If you are in Princeton, NJ area, you are welcome to check out my website on the right for any up coming news.
If you can read Chinese, my online classes are at this site.
If you can read English, a simplified version here.
If you want to join my free daily online tournament, join my club: https://www.chess.com/club/princeton-chess
I hope I could write more in future. This is just a beginning.
In my opinion, an advanced player is of USCF rating 1500, a club player or a class A player. At that level, s/he should be able to study and improve by himself/herself.
How soon can s/he reach that?
If everything is smooth, it will take about 3-4 years. According to the Steps system, this is a Step 5 student, so it takes about 5 years. The time could definitely be shortened if the child is working extremely hard.