Call it the Grandmaster Tour. I have invited four local GMs to visit schools that offer chess as an elective and they have all agreed including GM Renier Gonzalez, GM Julio Becerra, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, and GM Gilardo Garcia. We started with McMillan Middle on Friday.
GM Renier Gonzalez chose to analyze a game (34 moves) from the National Open in Las Vegas in 2005. It was one of his best tournaments ever, he beat 2 GMs and drew another one, finishing tied for 5th place with 4.5 out of 6. He played black against GM Ildar Ibragimov (FIDE 2611) and used the modern defence (fianchetto bishop along the A-H diagonal): Averbakh variation (A42). His lecture focused on attacking the king in the center, being able to adjust to different styles, and the danger of not castling early. Renier also spoke of how GMs prepare for each others games by studying databases of their opponents games. Ibragimov underestimated the lower rated Gonzalez (FIDE 2483) and paid for it.
Renier said he was impressed with the knowledge of the McMillan students and spoke highly of their chess teacher Marcos Diez. The group looked very interested in improving their chess level which is good. He noticed a lack of openings knowledge which he said will come with experience. Mr. Diez fared very well at the Miami Open in September scoring 5/7 (1460P). What do you think of the GM Tour? "I think it is a great idea since chess tends to be an autodidactic activity. It is really hard to have a lot of "one on one" lessons which is the best way to improve your chess. One of the best ways to show your students how to make better use of their time is by bringing experienced players who had to train a long time in order to be able to play at a high level. They can also offer some guidance to those instructors that have a hard time teaching high-level classes, they may have the pedagogy but lack chess experience. Another interesting thing is to offer simuls or lectures with those experienced chess players in tournaments and seminars, not only for the students but also for the instructors. Hopefully, I have not only taught them some things but also inspired and motivated them." How should I or the chess elective teacher decide what to cover or teach during a GM or titled player's visit? "The the best thing is to find what the group is having more problems with, normally endgames and positional ideas, and work on them slowly since it takes a lot of time to improve the positional understanding of the students" he said.
[Event "National Open"][Site "Las Vegas USA"][Date "2005.06.10"][EventDate "2005.06.10"][Round "2"][Result "0-1"][White "Ildar Ibragimov"][Black "Renier Gonzalez"][ECO "A42"][WhiteElo "2611"][BlackElo "2483"][PlyCount "68"]
1. c4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 e5 5. Nf3 exd4 6. Nxd4 Nc67. Be3 Nge7 8. Be2 O-O 9. Qd2 f5 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. c5 fxe412. cxd6 cxd6 13. Nxe4 Nf5 14. Bf4 Re8 15. Bf3 Rxe4+ 16. Bxe4Qe8 17. f3 d5 18. O-O-O dxe4 19. Rhe1 e3 20. Bxe3 Qf8 21. g4Nxe3 22. Qxe3 Rb8 23. Rd2 c5 24. h4 Bb7 25. f4 Bd4 26. Qe6+Qf7 27. Qd6 Rf8 28. Re7 Qc4+ 29. Kb1 Bd5 30. b3 Qf1+ 31. Kc2Qf3 32. Rxd4 cxd4 33. Kb2 Qc3+ 34. Kb1 Be4+ 0-1