“Unrateds” Numbered 28% In The, “Under” Categories At Scholastic Championships!

The 2022 Scholastic Championships are in the books. I had the pleasure of providing the post round analysis again and of course I like doing my statistics. At 1st it amazed me that we could really have that many people playing in their 1st tournament!? Then I remembered…

The chess servers shows that your tactics and strategy are, “tournament ready”, your highness!!

Pandemic misdirection. They’ve been on line for 2 years with a toy that they thought was a tool!? It didn’t just fool the kids!? The parents think the kids are better than they actually are too! I asked them all; Have you been playing on line? What’s your puzzle rating? How many games did you play at this time control before the tournament? What books are you reading? Are you using the post games analyzer on your site? Did you look up your opponent at US Chess before the game? This went on for 2 whole days!!

Adding new meaning to the term, “Sink or swim”?!

They sunk?! No tears, no tantrums, no yelling, screaming, or remorse. I watched them come out after less than 5 minutes in their games and start playing video games on their phones, tablets, and laptops. In the 1st round 1 game was lost in less than 1 minute!! They forgot or somehow didn’t understand the difference between playing in their homes, and their parents giving up 2 days work, paying for hotels, gas, meals, and an entry fee?! Either they weren’t told or they disobeyed!?! Top 1st tournament performances were as follows: K-3 Under 600 was 11th with a new rating of 555, K-5 Under 1000 was 2nd with a new rating of 1140, K-8 Under 1200 was 16th with a new rating of 956, and finally the K-12 Under 1400 was 15th with a new rating of 854. To place 1st in any of these sections would have earned the player a rating that would have been 200 points or more above the “Under” they signed up for!! Imagine their shock when after 1-2 years of what they thought was meaningful progress, they find out that their online ratings don’t make them underrated compared to over the board players, they are overrated!!!

Reread the blogs or get them some real help!!

Disillusionment leads to disenchantment! We specialize in converting online toys into online tools! Our programs are designed to help new and experienced players that only have experience, switch to a training regimen that a grandmaster would approve of. If you just want to play for fun and you want to play and study for free then you don’t need any help!?! Praveen achieved the title of GM in Feb 2022 with 1,960 US games in 12 years. That doesn’t count the games he played abroad! I estimate becoming a GM cost his family between $150,000.00 and $250,000.00. Once there’s a cost, you have to come up with a better plan!

Back in the day, the Masters, International Masters, and Grandmasters were also famous trainers, analysts, correspondence players, authors, organizers, and arbiters.  Today everyone puts almost 90% of their focus on playing and then to add insult to injury, they want to learn for free, on line, from anybody??  That has replaced reading books written by Grandmasters and global authorities on the subject matter they want to learn.  The result is a younger and younger bunch of tournament junkies just play, play, play, play, play?! At the pace they play it is impossible to be practicing a regimen of, play, analyze, reflect, study, and repeat.  Why would you spend your time and hard earned money on a kind of chess that doesn’t instill this? Today’s chess crowd is uncultured, uniformed, and unambitious!  Organizers have tricked parents into playing in, “Under’s” all the time. If you fall for it, you will automatically spend more money because you are always getting less rating points!!!

Team up with someone! Doing this alone is way too expensive!!

If you are going to, “Invest” thousands of dollars and countless weekends at chess tournaments you and your budding star need some training. We will save you money! If you’re not ready for coaching, we’ll get you ready for free!! Ask for Coach Mike! 804-426-6058.

Over The Board Chess Is Back!

Remember this?

Go back to 2020 and this was what the Tournament Life Announcements looked like. Chess is probably the only sport that has grown during the pandemic!? Now all the Queen’s Gambit and E-Chess enthusiast are coming out to test their online skills in real tournaments.

The pages are full again with opportunities to test your disciplines. We reopened 2 December. The questions coming from people transitioning from online, or back to Over The Board chess have the same underlying theme. The Screen is for your casual eye and the board is for your slow/tournament eye. They mentioned it as fast or slow in this month’s issue of Chess Life, but I’ve been teaching the difference between the casual and tournament eye for more than 3 decades. Experience makes you good at tactics, study and analysis make you good at strategy. Study and analysis sticks better when you use a board!

Play, teach, direct, and organize is back! It takes a tournament or going to a club to make players realize how much they’d forgotten study, play, analyze, reflect and repeat!! For the prepared student, the next couple of years will be the easiest points ever gotten at a chess board!! E player weaknesses will become the articles of insight!? E-chess service providers will be selling everything you need to correct following their, instead of grandmaster advice?!

If you are ready to get to work,(go to tournaments), SCBC is poised as always to give you the training that will get you in the top 100 of your age category, with 40%- 60% less games than players that are just getting better by experience! Virginia’s own Praveen Balakrishnan, broke 2600 in 2020 and was awarded the title of grandmaster in Feb of 2022, I’m sure that he’d agree it can and should be done in less than 1960 games and 14 years!! I hope someone gives his parents a trophy. They had a 3 year period where they took him to 764 games!

We can give you lessons on how to use one of these!

Getting some help, even on a short term basis, is better than spending thousands of dollars a year trying to get good at chess from experience. Why go out and make your own mistakes when you can learn what to do from everyone else’s. Consultations are free and informative! If the student is not ready for coaching, we get them ready for free!!

Keeping Your Half Is A Catch 2022!

When does everyone say enough is enough and start acting like chess players instead of other sports people? It seems the more informed your perspective is on what is actually a good result in chess, the more people question your intent to win!?!(Strange)

In chess, you don’t reach a stand off, the game actually starts as one!!

Each game starts with each player having half a point, not zero! In order for that to change, someone has to make a mistake, an oversight, or a blunder. At the less than Master level it will normally require that you make more than 1 mistake, oversight, or blunder. The skill that actually differentiates amateurs and masters is each ones ability to spot and punish mistakes. So when non masters play they are both making mistakes, oversights, and blunders, and the last one to get caught making 1 of those usually loses!

Statistics and training materials are your key to the real struggle!

Let’s take a look at how we keep score compared to other sports. In chess, what does it mean if someone has a record of 23-8-5? This means that they have 23 wins, 8 draws, and 5 losses. In every other sport it would mean 23 wins, 8 losses, and 5 draws/ties. That distinction is very instructive! Why? Because chess is the only sport in the world that when there is a tie, and you are following Grandmaster advice, there is still a winner and a loser!!

In every other sport they measure your win percentage. In the example above the person with a 23-8-5 record would have a winning percentage of 63.88%. In chess we measure our keep percentage! A person with a 23-8-5 record would have a keep percentage of 75.00%! Go to US Chess and look yourself up! Scroll down the, “General” page to, “game statistics” and then go to, “by year” and the number they will give you is your keep % not your winning percentage. If you want to know your winning percentage, you will have to do that math on your own!! Chess success is measured by what you keep! Every other sport goes from 0%-100%. We go from 50%-100% In chess being able to brag about your, “Not losing streak” is as good or better than other sports bragging about their winning streak.

Order is important!

This is an informant. It is a FIDE publication that features top games and puzzles from top games in it. The feature that stands out is when you go to the puzzle section, The 1st puzzles are for checkmates, the second set of puzzles is for draws, the 3rd set is for material, then a section for all other themes. The puzzles are set up in order of importance!! Win, Draw, Material, Everything else.

1-2-4 equals 76 points when you play up!

Do you know how to play up? Grandmasters agree that the only way to improve is to play up. Each player must decide what their comfort zone is. Playing in the, “Under” section is ok, when you are within 50 points of the cap. Example… your rating is 957 and you are playing in the, “Under 1000” section. Your rating is 1369 and you are playing in the, “Under 1400” section. Other than that, you should be playing the spread. Your rating is 690. You should choose the, “Under 1000” over the, “Under 800”. Your rating is 1028. You should choose the, “Under 1400” over the, “Under 1200”. No matter how confident you are, you should not be 1231 playing in the, “Under 1800” section unless you are there strictly as a discovery exercise. After 400 points, your odds of winning the section go to almost impossible.

You either need the right class, or the right books, or both!!

You don’t need to be a grandmaster to train like one. The fun part of our training is everything is a shortcut! We followed the advice from great books, we did the work suggested by great books, and we discovered things you only learn by doing exactly what you are told. Now we offer these improvement methods to you at a fraction of the time and money it would take you to discover and implement them. We guarantee that our methods and techniques are 100% unique and the result of decades of reading and following the advice of World Champions, Cycle Competitors, and Grandmaster Theoreticians So, we encourage you to sign up for a course, come by the club for some free training, or purchase some of the hand selected books that we know will take your game to the next level

SCBC Brings OTB Back To Richmond Dec 2nd!!

We are back! I played in a couple of tournaments with a mask on and I found the bandanna works best for me. I’ve researched and talked extensively with US Chess and it seems that If we just do things right, the likely hood of transmission is extremely low! It’s time to do things right and get back to the work I love… Finding new talent, putting them on the true path to becoming a complete chess personality, and helping people of all ages use chess to help themselves!

Masks, Sanitizer, and Thermometers are here to stay!

We’ve had a banner year in 2021! US Certified Coach, 8 year old Anagha Sinkar, took 1st place in the K-3 Division of the Virginia Scholastic Championships. Anagha is a student of ours that became a middle school head coach when she was only 6 years old!! I keep telling parents, if you want them to play more conscientiously, get your child involved in coaching and refereeing as soon as possible! Anagha’s peak rating has gone up more than 600 points since she started coaching!! Life Master, US Certified Coach, and US Certified Tournament Director Jason Morefield joined our coaching staff when he was 11 years old back in 2014. This year Jason won the Virginia Closed State Championship. He is one of the few to win both the Open and Amateur Titles! His rating has gone from over 1800 to a peak of 2354 while he’s been coaching for us! Again tapping into the total chess personality made the child a better player! Anagha achieved her peak of 1440 in just 178 games. Jason achieved his peak rating of 2354 in just 413 games!! Both of these kids have played 40% to 50% less tournament games than other children their age that have the same ratings!! That saved their parents thousands of dollars while they were earning money too!! That’s a life lesson!! Head Coach, Chief Tournament Director, and Organizer, Mike Callaham received his, US Chess Level III Advanced Team Coaching Certificate this year! His application boasted 163 team appearances in the last 90 months! He is 1 of only 43 people that hold that title across the USA!! If you want to get the most out of the time you invest in chess, your search for leadership is over!

Our club is both an Arena and a playground!?

We are a tournament chess, professional development, and entrepreneurial training company. We are experts at the, ‘play, analysis, reflect, repair, and repeat‘ of tournament chess. We know many secrets and shortcuts to chess success. We hope that is why you come, but if you just like to play, you are also welcome!? We need as many types of sparring partners as we can get!! Click on, “Club Meetings” for information about the benefits of club membership!

The proving grounds of chess!

Last Saturday Open Swiss Tournaments: Nothing compares to sitting down to a complete stranger with a clock, a scoresheet, and rating points on the line. This activity more than any other is what begins and sustains the improvements to the personality, character, and mental prowess that we all believe and want from chess!! Without a stranger, clock, scoresheet, and rating points on the line chess is just another toy!! Click on, “Tournaments” for a complete schedule of up coming tournaments!!

Stamina and concentration from, “no mute” lessons!!

The pandemic sent everyone to the computer. South Park ran skits of darkened screens and muted participants. The problem, people didn’t know how to prepare a thinking environment so they had to make sure they didn’t get caught and embarrassed by what they we saying and doing or what the people in their households were saying or doing. By forcing our students to leave the microphone on, it did 2 things… 1.) It made them find a quiet place or made everyone else respect that they needed quiet for this type of work. 2.) It made the students pay closer attention because they could be required to answer a question at any time without the warning of being told to,”unmute”. It’s been very successful for us and the students love the special treatment and attention. Click on, “Lessons” for more details about class times, class material, and costs!!

Information Overload!?

Camps are about taking in a whole bunch of information then reviewing the information over and over, and using it over and over again until the improvements become permanent! Our camps aren’t like other camps!? When you ask our participants if they understood everything that was in the camp, instead of yes, there answer will be, no, I need to look over the booklet again!? We are offering this intense training the 20th-23rd and the 27th-30th. Click on, “Camps” for more details!

Check out all the details under, “Grand Reopening”!! If you’d like details about any of the programs at SCBC please call 804-426-6058. Ask for Coach Mike C.