It's a little after midnight, and the most exhausting day of the tournament is over. The kids play three rounds starting at 9:00 am, and last round starting at 7:00 pm. It's draining for the kids and the parents. By the time I got going through the last bunch of games I was getting punchy. At one point I'm playing the white moves with the black pieces and the black moves with the white pieces and trying to figure out why the score was backwards. Don't ask! I'm not sure I can even explain what I was thinking at that point. Finally I figured out what I was doing, and just started all over again. I guess when I see so many score sheets with notation errors even when it's right I start thinking it's wrong.
Here are a few pictures from today.
How fast can parents seat their child, and get out of there before the tournament directors starting having to resort to force?
A big part of this tournament is the team aspect, and the pride kids feel representing their school at nationals. Each school has their own way of showing team spirit. The classes at one Oklahoma school each make a poster for the chess team to take to nationals and hang up in their team room. Here are a couple of the posters that the team's school mates made for them.
Many teams have shirts in their school colors that they wear through out the tournament. The shirts give the kids a sense of team identity, and depending on how colorful they are it helps parents and coaches spot their kids. My team wears purple and white. The only problem is, one of the biggest teams from New York City also wear the same color purple, so it's hard to tell at glance who is from which school. Next year I'm going suggest purple tie-dye shirts. The teams with tie-dye shirts were easy to spot.
The most unique team shirts were these shirts being worn by a team from Baltimore. Each kid had a different piece on the back of the shirt with a different motto. A friend of the coach did the art work. These are totally awesome shirts. I thought they had been done by a friend of mine who is also from Baltimore and does similar chess art work, but they weren't.
More pictures to come!