So, it's been another busy month for me. As usual I've spent most of it coaching, but for two weeks rather than doing this in London I went as part of a large group to the World Youth Championships in Maribor, Slovenia.
The England team consisted of 34 students and 9 coaches. I was assigned 3 players to coach, as well as helping out with the daily reports. I'll tell you a little about the day of a coach at an event such as this...
8am: Get up, breakfast - consume as much coffee as you can - you're going to need to be wide awake!
9am: Start coaching. Try very hard to build in 5-10min breaks between each student arriving. Inevitably fail and work right through till 12/1pm depending on the day. Then grab some lunch.
After lunch wait for players to come with additional questions (or often just some reassurance).
2:30pm: Wave off the players with wishes of good luck.
3pm-6pm Try to read or relax, maybe walk to the shops - try not to think about the games going on and how the players are getting on.
6pm Wait in the main meeting room for players to return for post-game analysis. Congratulate and commiserate as appropriate. At some point try and grab some dinner.
9pm: Hopefully now finished with the analysis - time to relax... at least until the pairings come out (and that could be anytime from 9pm till after midnight) - if there's time get some prep. done for the mornings sessions.
Anyway, I really enjoy these kind of trips and it's always nice when a team has a successful event. England had two players in the prizes (Matthew Wadsworth came 5th in the U12 and Aditya Verma finished 8th in the U8).
I've been back in London for a week or so since then and it's been back to the usual routine of coaching but there's also the fantastic London Chess Classic coming up. I'll be playing in the FIDE Open so I'm busy preparing for that. My friend and housemate Gawain Jones is in the Main Event - joining Carlsen, Aronian, Anand et al for what promises to be a memorable event. I wish him the best of luck!
I'll try and do another quick blog before the event - hopefully containing some actual chess!