Toledo Practice Tournaments: Sept 22 and Oct 20th

Fairweather camp hosted already 2 practice tournaments for the kids from PG and San Pedro Colombia. Kids were really looking forward those events, and nothing could stop Mr. Teul and his team of 10 to get to the tournament site. On the day of the second tournament, Mr. Teul's car broke down, they marched 4 miles from the bus to the camp, and still had tons of energy and enthusiasm to face their opponents in chess and football from PG.

Practice tournaments are not only about the chess competition, it is about full day of activities, excitement, learning, laughing and of course, concentrating, focusing, strategising- playing chess, anotherwrds....
Sgt Sho organized and run 2 events like this. His schedule consisted of review of all the material that student learned over the summer, making sure that everybody was on the same level.. then playing some practice games with pawns only, then re-introducing all the other pieces. Mr. Teul's group was a little bit ahead, because they already practiced few times at the chess club that he organized right at his house. Pawn games, and any practice games without the King are very important for the development of the kids thinking process, since they don't have to worry about the King, and checkmate, children learn how to utilize the whole army of pieces, how to protect, attack, watch for danger, etc....

In addition to that, BDF showed kids some boats on display... ..then provided them with a lunch and a movie, then the actual tournament began... We want to congratulate Mr. Teul, Sgt Sho and Col Pulido with being so proactive and running those successful events for the kids of Toledo. BNYCH staff came on both occasions as a support group...and were pleasantly surprised to see how confident and knowledgeble Sgt and Mr. Teul were, since their only training as chess coaches was over the summer during the 5 days of camp that they attended with 20 kids from Toledo district.
Based on the result of those 2 tournaments 10 children were selected to go back to the Sibun Jungle Lodge in November. The selection criteria was: the best sportsmanship, best attitude, best players and the most improved ones.Kids are making reall progress in their games. There were some beautiful unusual checkmates achieved:

Award Ceremony

One of the highlights was to see how chess was helping kids to become more confident. One of the chess players, Silvano, challenged the visitors from Great Britain for a game, who were on their travel around the world. Rich and Bonie heard about the program while their stay in Belize, and stopped by to see it. Rich who is a social worker himself, and has tons of experience of dealing with the troubled youngsters, agrees that the best way to prevent future trouble, is to give attention to the kids at an early age. Rich plays chess since he was a child, and was pleasantly surprised to see that Silvano developed enough confidence to ask him for a game, and even lasted for 15 minutes of the game. Our visitors continued with their travel around the world with a long lasting image of the Belizian kids playing chess.