by Natasha Holland
On Sunday 3rd March 2013, Lewis and I participated in a District Chess Tournament for Scouts and Cubs. There were two tournaments played – one for the Scouts and one for the Cubs. For the Scouts, there were 5 people there in total. The score was kept with a simple point system; 3 for a win, 2 for draw, 1 for a loss.
In the first stage we played 4 matches each against all the other opponents. There were always two matches in play with one Scout sitting out, and then when you were finished you would find someone free who you hadn’t played yet. The matches took a long time, especially when playing these two Scouts who liked to plan their moves out for ages. By the time we were finished, it was lunch time. The two Scouts in question were playing each other (and had been for half an hour), so we just left them to it and went to lunch. I won 4 of my matches and then lost the last one to another Scout. Lewis lost all of his matches.
We had a break and then returned for the second stage. This time, because we had taken so long before, we were given a chess timer with 15 minutes each on the clock. When it was our turn, the clock would count down on our side. Then when we had made our move, we would hit the button and your opponent’s clock would start counting down. If anyone’s clock made it to 0, they had lost. The strategy worked but it also made us all quite nervous and rushed.
On my match after that, we were rushing to hit the button as fast as possible and not thinking at all. This caused me to make some stupid mistakes (one really stupid one) and the game miraculously ended with a tie. With huge blame on my part, as I had let him take my last other piece, we were both down to our Kings. This made a checkmate impossible and so they announced it as a stalemate. I won 3 of my other matches, no longer unnerved by the timer, but lost once more to the lone Scout. He had won all of his matches but one. Lewis, once again, lost all of his matches.
We spent the rest of the day playing friendlies against each other and learning new tactics such as checkmate in 3 moves and castling. Eventually the parents arrived and we gathered for the presentation. The Scout that I had lost to both times came 1st. He won a trophy shield and a certificate. I came 2nd and was given a miniature trophy and a certificate. The same was given to the Scout who came 3rd. Lewis came last.
Then there were the Team prizes. If the Scout who had come 1st had had a partner from his Scout group, then they would have won. Instead the two Scouts who had played the long games came 1st, and 14th Hove came 2nd because Lewis had scored the minimum amount of points (8), which gave us enough to beat the lone Scout. We were given a certificate to take back to the Scout Hut.