Since round 5 marks the end of the first week, with the rest day to come (which we have all being very much looking forward to), I thought a review of the first week from the coaches’ perspective would be valuable. Here are their comments –
Andrew Martin: I have a very good group of lads, all undoubtedly very talented, very enthusiastic, very dedicated … but all of them need to work slightly harder to make the most of this tournament. A candidate for best game from the group so far is Joseph Dalton’s from round 1. [including the PGN of the game here would be good]
Glenn Flear: This first week has been a very pleasant time with mixed weather and mixed results. Whatever the results, the whole Kavala experience has been a good step for future endeavours. It has been a learning experience for the coaches as well, important for developing flexibility in dealing with different abilities, ages, playing styles and opening choices.
Jovanka Houska: They are doing OK, with highlights and lowlights. It’s how you come back that counts, and I’m expecting some resurgence next week. Every coaching event is different. My emphasis is to help the students and when they win, I win.
Yang-Fan Zhou: I have been really impressed with my students’ attitude. They’re ambitious, taking on board everything I’ve been saying and improving day by day. The very talented Harvey Zhang is a particular star, on 5/5. I have high hopes for the other boys in the second week.
Meri Grigoryan: I’ve been very happy with the results. William is on 3/5, Luca could have been on 3.5 or 4 apart from a controversial incident today. Asha is on 50%, and Marianne’s group is very tough so we’re happy with 1.5
Neil McDonald: I’m enjoying the chance to work with four bright children. It’s nice to coach players with an age range from 6 to 14. They ask me questions about the general principles of chess which are kind of interesting to think about again. There have been ups and downs, moments of good fortune and ill luck, skilful decisions and oversights, but I hope every player will take away ideas that will help them achieve their aims in chess. This after all is the purpose of a developmental tournament.
Lawrence Cooper: This is a really nice group to work with. One thing I like about development events is that you get students who have not been on such trips before. It’s rewarding seeing players here for the first time, with their nerves at the start, but throughout the tournament growing in confidence and developing as chess players and as people. There has been fantastic support from all the parents, and I’d especially like to say what a great head of delegation Jay has been. All 28 players, 7 coaches and parents (more than 28) have worked well together and there has been a great group atmosphere.