Last Saturday was the Utah State Elementary Championship at the University of Utah. I am in 6th grade, so I could have played in it. I was there, so why didn't I play in it? Especially since I would be defending my title (I've been the State Champion every year) that I have had since 1st grade when I first started playing in tournaments. This is the first year that I qualified to play in the Junior High State Championship. In Utah, you are only allowed to play in your age group for the State Championship, but because we have both middle school (6th-8th) and junior high (7th-9th) here, in 6th grade you can play in both the Elementary and the Junior High State Championships. Because of this, I decided to just play in the Junior High and let my friends (who I have been playing against for many years) battle it out for the 6th grade championship. Instead I did an 8 hour simul!! I did the simul to help promote our TNT summer chess camps (you can see our camp website at http://tntchesscamp.blogspot.com). My dad had a video playing on a laptop of our previous TNT Chess Camps. And our friends, the Treimans who we do the camp with, passed out TNT Chess Camp business cards with our web address.
My dad and I got to the University of Utah at around 8:00 in the morning. We got everything set up and I started at about 8:30. I was playing on five boards at a time and as soon as one finished, someone else would sit down. I played about 80 games (maybe more) against the kids at the tournament, their coaches, some parents, and even a few college students from the University of Utah. I played mostly white which was good because it gave me a little bit of practice on my new white opening. I won all my games--no draws, no losses. A few people asked me if anyone had come close or if I had lost any games. There were a few games where I did come close to a draw and one that I thought my opponent had a chance of winning, but he missed something and I was able to pull out the win. I also had some people ask me to sign their boards. That was pretty cool!
We also sold chocolate suckers for a raffle where they could win a chess clock. I raffled off the clock I was given by the Mexican delegation for winning the 2009 North American U12 Championship and the Gold Medal. We will use the money we got to help me get to the World Youth Championship in Greece this year. We didn't sell as many as we hoped...anyone want to buy a chocolate sucker?
So, for those of you wondering about the 8000 steps I mentioned in the title, last week I got a new DS game which comes with a pedometer. It moniters how many steps you take and you can earn things in the game the more steps you take. So, I decided to wear it during my simul. We finished up around 4:30 (8 hours later) and when we were in the car on our way home, I checked it and it said that I had taken a little more than 8000 steps!!! I couldn't believe it, but I do know that I was definitely tired and ready to relax.
Who says that chess is not physical exercise??!!
I promised last week to include one of the chess problems that the GMs showed me at my last tournament so here it is:
Get this position in FOUR moves not three. It is very important to get it in four.