This Sunday I had the pleasure of taking a team of 12 scholastic players to compete in the Fall Scholastic Chess Tournament at the Avenues of the World School on the west side of Manhattan. The school itself was a draw for some of my team’s parents, who wanted to see what the inside of the school where Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise send their daughter Suri had to offer. An incomplete list of the differences between this school and an average NYC public school would have to begin with the the presence of an elevator, and the Chuck Close self portrait that greets you when those elevator doors open on the 8th floor.
In any case, one of my students played the following game, in which he beat a much higher rated opponent. Ian had been a King’s Gambit player for more than year, but after only a week of studying the Evan’s Gambit was able to pull off a 229 point upset with his new opening. After struggling with playing the Evan’s Gambit online for a week, his remark following this victory was “It finally worked.” With my team scattered across several sections, I was glad with our performance overall: 1st place in the Reserve section, 5 players who only lost a single game in the event.
Aside from the Chuck Close painting and elevator what other differences did my chess team notice? Not many. “They use the same math book as us.” One student remarked.