Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Surprise Visit

Siiiiiimmmmmmuuuuuuuuul,  Yeeeuuuuh!
Dude, on Wednesday, May 2, the WRHS Chess Club was to hold it's championship, however, the tennis team was playing away.  The Softball team was playing away, the track team was in Burley, and our school championship looked as if it was not going to happen tonight.  We decided to post-pone it until Saturday, May 12.  Jeff Roland and Corey Longhurst had already departed Boise, on their way to visit our club and the now post-poned championship.  They had made a two-hour trip for naught, however, I quickly came up with an outstanding idea.  Siiimmuuuuul,  Yeeeuuuuh!
Corey "Mordakai" Longhurst in his first Simul
Jeff "Rigby" Roland
They arrived early enough for my chess class, Integrating Chess and Critical Thinking during the last period of the day. Today we were to learn about chess notation, but my students were about learn it by recording their first game in a simul against Jeff and Corey!    I quickly transformed my room into a "simul-circle" where nine students could compete against Jeff and nine against Corey during the hour-long class.  I positioned myself in the center of the room so I could quickly help students with record keeping questions.

The bell rang and students began to emerge from the hallway.  They were surprised to see the new room set up and Jeff and Corey standing next to me as I greeted them.  I introduced Jeff and Corey as expert chess players that came up for our now defunct championship tournament.  "Today, we are going to play chess and learn about recording our games in a simul.  You are already acquainted with algebraic notation.  A simultaneous exhibition is a type of tournament where multiple players compete against one individual.  They will play everyone at once and will move from player to player.  Simuls are prestigious and challenging events for participants and we are going to help Jeff and Corey build their chess resume.  Make your move when Jeff or Corey reach your board and raise your hand if you have any questions about notation.  These games are going to be posted on Jeff's website."

Nash Hartdegon puzzling Jeff Roland.
My students were obviously nervous, and so too were Jeff and Corey.  I was excited to offer this for my chess students.  Jeff and Corey shook hands and made their first move as white for each player.  Typically, players performing the simul will be white and the contestants will be black.

I e-mailed the staff and invited other students to visit and observe if they had a chance.  Stacey Smith brought her class for a bit.  Her students were impressed at how quiet my room full of students was and with Jeff and Corey.  Jeff and Corey got to feel like celebrities for at least the hour they visited WRHS.  Yeuh!

Each student made their reply and so on.  As the hour waned, Jeff check-mated Easton Kimball and then accepted a draw against me.  Corey scored his first win against Matt Reidy who resigned.  The games continued and the hour long class was nearly up.  I warned Jeff and Corey that some students will need to reach their buses, so they might leave quickly.  And they began resigning and did!  Some students hold out to the end.

Christoffer Mauritzen did very well against Corey and had an opportunity to win (see above) but just couldn't stay to finish.  Dude, not cool.  Nash Hartdegan gave Jeff some trouble, but the last game for Jeff was against Drew Morse.  I encourage my students to play games out to the bitter end and Drew was not about to resign his lost game and continued well after the bell rang through move 50.  I was happy to see most students survive the opening without any major blunders or pieces dropped.  I was encouraged to see good positions for several students in the middle games, as well.
Desmond's position after 10. ..Bb7 against Jeff.  Desmond is about to lose a pawn.

Ty Reineman against Corey.  Ty spotted the knight pin the next move 15. . . Bh6.
They next day, our discussions were about the simul and it was apparent that students and amateurs need to see and/or participate in events such as these.  Some of my students felt more confident and some felt like they participated in something important.  And they really did!
Drew and Easton enjoying the simul

Jeff’s Opponents
Jeff’s Results
Corey’s Opponents
Corey’s Results
Nash Hartedegon
Christoffer Mauritzen
Martin Felix
Ty Reinemann
Desmond Porth
Matt Reidy
Jake Whitlock
Max Mihalic
Jacob Hope
Paul Klimes
Charley Hines
Dillon Bunce
Easton Kimball
Jon Reigle
Drew Morse
Tyler Avila
Adam Porth
Emmitt Say

Paul Klimes and Dillon Bunce are looking for an opportunity.

The Opening against Drew.
Paul is a bit conservative against Corey

Emmitt offered a draw and Corey accepted.  Ms. Smith in background.

Charley Hines and Jacob Hope.

Middle game struggle for Matt Reidy and Max Mihalic.

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