Scholastic Chess Anecdotes

| 9 | Scholastics

During a class after explaining how chess ratings work, a second grade boy raises his hand and says very seriously, "I don’t want to get a chess rating…because I want to be a professional hockey player."

In one scholastic event, an eight year old said to another…"I can’t believe I just lost to a seven year old!!"

Two first graders at a tournament were playing chess. The chess coach asked the boy playing black what his rook (on the other side of the board) was doing because it is laying on its side. He looks up and grins, "He is sleeping!"

Two first grade girls are teamed up against a first grade boy. One of the girls stands up in the middle of the game, puts her hands on her hips and says to the boy, "Rachel and I are queens. We own all the gold, all the silver, all the jewelry, and all the castles in the whole world…and you are just a little boy!"

A tournament director was checking a position for checkmate where white had lots of pieces developed and black had none. The black king was on an unusual square in the center of the board and the TD was double checking to make sure there was no way to escape from mate. The TD was apparently taking too much time…the white player tried to help him out, "It is white checkmating black!"

During a game between two first grade girls, one girl was impatient that her opponent was taking too much time. She looks up at me and says, "I looked into her brain and she wasn’t thinking about the game!"

Young kids tend to hold and cuddle the pieces closely that they have captured. A kindergarten girl who was just learning how the pieces move, promotes a pawn. The chess teacher was so excited for her that he told her that now she could have her queen back and placed her captured queen onto the promotion square. She looked up at her teacher and said, "Is it ok if I just take her back and hold her?"

A promising young five-year-old girl student is doing really well at visualizing the board. Her chess coach tries to coax her into playing a few moves of blindfold chess by calling out the moves and not looking at the board. She isn’t sure if she can do it. She gets real serious and thinks some more and says, "That sounds really hard. I’ll do that when I am six!"

Two first grade boys are playing in a tournament. First boy is behind by a bishop and manages to trade off the other player's last pawn resulting in a draw by insufficient mating material. After the game, the second boy mentions that he was a bishop ahead (and was winning). The first boy says, "Yea, I tried not to look at it!" (as if it wasn’t there).

There were some kindergartners and first graders waiting for a chess class. One of boys says, "I am really good at chess. I have been playing chess for six years!" The chess teacher asks him how old he is. He responds enthusiastically, "I am six!"

One scholastic player, rated around 1600 was paired with a player rated only 374. After the game, a friend asked the 1600 player how he did. He responded, "I drew." "You drew? How can you draw with a player rated 374?" He replied, "Oh, but his playing strength was closer to 400."

In some State Scholastic Chess Championships, once a player's game is over he cannot stay in the room and must leave until the next round. The USCF rulebook states that if a player is facing checkmate and refuses to move it is considered rude to just sit there until his time runs out. At the 2007 Pennsylvania Scholastic Chess Championship a player was facing checkmate but refused to resign. The TD told him that the rules said he could not just sit there and wait. But he protested that if he resigned we would kick him out of the room and he could not see how his teammates were doing! Good reason not to resign too soon.




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