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Summer Chess Camp: ‘Our best yet’

MADISON – The 2017 Summer Chess Camp allowed youth to learn more about the game and ignited inspiration to continue to work harder. Rainbow Elementary School hosted the camp.

For the first time, Competition Chess Camp used a full-day format, similar to an overnight chess camp experience. “Madison City Chess League invested in three unique instructors who each delivered lessons targeting specific areas of chess,” league executive director Ranae Bartlett said.

Class sizes were small. Throughout the day, each group rotated to each instructor. “The full-day format offered complete immersion in chess and allowed MCCL to introduce new aspects to the camp,” Bartlett said.

A new aspect at this camp, optional evening activities allowed the youth to enjoy a blitz tournament, movie night and bowling night. “One of the most popular events was Bughouse Night. We allowed spectators to observe the Bughouse tournament, and it was fun to watch and fun for the kids to play,” Bartlett said.

The Rainbow Elementary Outdoor Chess Classroom was a popular feature for multiple classes during camp. Bill Nash was tournament director.

Each day after lunch, full-day competition campers played one round of a five-round tournament with 45-minute time control. After each round, players had their games analyzed by instructors International Master Danny Rensch, Will Stevenson or Jonathan Rasberry.

“The immediate game analysis was very valuable to the players, and one of the favorite new aspects of summer camp,” Bartlett said. Section winners were Arnav Maskey, Red Group; Mark Skrabanek, Green Group; and Will Fox, Blue Group.

Each group instructor presented a Top Camper award. “These were very difficult to choose because the kids did such a great job all week,” Bartlett said.

Top Campers were Ilene Pour-Biazar, half-day “Beginning Competition Class” with Bill Nash and Nancy Brandon; “Learn to Play Chess Class,” Samsara Rajbhandari; in full-day “Competition Chess Camp,” Andrew Nguyen, Red Group; Mark Skrabanek, Green Group; and Constance Wang and Tyler Wessling, Blue Group.

Rensch conducted a simultaneous chess match or ‘Simul’ with 34 campers and their instructors – a first for some campers in this type of match. Will Stevenson won his game, and Michael Guthrie drew in his. “Rensch won all the other games and was very complimentary of how our kids played,” she said.  

Ed Mullin is MCCL Coach of the Year.

For more information, visit madisonchess.com.

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