The second Chess Academy training weekend of 2019 was held at the De Vere Hotel in Daventry on 13/14 April. The students were divided into eight teaching groups. Four of these were for the new students who started the Academy in January, three for those who started in 2018 and one for those beginning in January 2017 and now into their third and final year. Each of the annual cohorts followed a different teaching syllabus.
The coaches for the weekend included Andrew Martin (IM and Academy Head), Glenn Flear (GM), Gary Kenworthy (FM), Nigel Davies (GM), Tim Wall (FM), Charlie Storey (FM), Andrew Ledger (IM) and Richard Pert (IM).
Feedback from these coaches after the weekend was very encouraging. They reported that they were impressed with the students’ work ethic and their positive attitude during training and group work. The coaches also said that students had done their preparatory work well ! Each year cohort had been sent their own tailored study plans in advance of the weekend and these were designed to prepare and introduce them to the topics covered in greater detail at an advanced level by the coaches over the weekend.
On Saturday night many of the students and their parents took part in the traditional blitz tournament in the Hotel.
Sarah Longson, Caretaker Manager of the ECF Academy gave two presentations to parents – “How to help your child prepare for a big chess event” and “The Academy 2019/20 and Beyond”. In the latter, the parents were informed that Sarah and Alex Longson will now continue to manage the ECF Academy, which will be restructured and based on a new “Young Masters” programme that includes Tiers 1-8 and each with corresponding ECF & FIDE ratings and structured syllabus training. The annual membership of the Academy was also outlined included the training day structure. More information on the changes to the Academy is available on the ECF Juniors website.
Many participants at this latest Academy weekend subsequently went on to join the ECF England Team playing in the World Schools 2019 Tournament in Anatalya,Turkey and accompanied by a team of titled coaches. Andrew Martin, Head Coach, has been providing a detailed daily update on this tournament and this is also published on the ECF Juniors website. While in Daventry, parents of those going to Anatalya had an opportunity to meet each other and discuss logistics for the trip.
The next Chess Academy weekend will be held on 14/15 September 2019.
— Mimi Khan and David Gray