Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Instruyendo a nuestros estudiantes sobre el ajedrez

This article appeared in El Nuevo Herald today. Lilia Garcia is the Administrative Director of the Division of Life Skills and Special Projects which oversees the Chess Education Program.


Muchas son las personas que juegan el ajedrez como forma de entretenimiento, para relajar el cuerpo y estimular la mente. El juego ofrece una oportunidad al ser humano de estimular su mente y de formular diferentes estrategias para lograr su victoria. Los que participan en el juego enfrentan el reto que representa a su capaciad mental. La clave consiste en anticipar la próxima jugada por parte de su oponente.
Existen estudios sicológicos como los de Dauvergne, Frank, Gaudreau y Palm, los cuales indican que el aprendizaje del ajedrez a temprana edad aumenta la inteligencia y capacidad de nuestros alumnos en una forma significativa. Esto lleva a que se fortalezca la capacidad y habilidad de los jóvenes para resolver diferentes problemas y llegar a decisiones críticas en tiempos de crisis. También mejora y aumenta su habilidad de leer, pensar, hablar y resolver problemas de matemáticas.

El ajedrez despierta la creatividad de la persona y fortalece su capacidad para llegar a una resolución cuando enfrenta un problema. Por medio del ajedrez la persona aprende a pensar con lógica y esto le ayuda a seleccionar la mejor opción en muchas circunstancias durante el transcurso de su vida. Además, le enseña a tener flexibilidad y a asumir responsabilidad cuando las consecuencias así lo determinen.

Conocedores del ajedrez han concluido que nuestros jóvenes desarrollan mejor sus mentes cuando aprenden a jugar el ajedrez. Los ayuda a solucionar cualquier diferencia que pueda surgir durante el día laboral. El ajedrez presenta un reto al ser humano, despertando sus facultades de pensar y analizar cualquier contratiempo. Les enseña a quienes lo practican a planificar con cautela sus planes para evadir cualquier posibilidad de error.

El Distrito Escolar ha reconocido el valor significativo del juego, lo que el mismo representa para nuestros jóvenes. Hace dos años se creó la posición de coordinador de actividades que promueven el ajedrez en las escuelas públicas de nuestro condado de Miami-Dade. Trabajando con los maestros e instructores de las diferentes escuelas, el Distrito Escolar planifica y lleva a cabo actividades que promuevan el juego entre nuestros jóvenes en todas las escuelas participantes. Entrenamos a instructores para que ellos estén a cargo de enseñar el juego. También les ofrecemos apoyo para que organicen y lleven a cabo competencias y concursos que despierten el interés entre los alumnos interesados en el deporte. Los estudiantes del Distrito Escolar de Miami-Dade han participado exitosamente en diferentes competencias y concursos a nivel estatal y nacional.

Desde que este esfuerzo ha comenzado, un gran número de nuestros alumnos han adoptado el ajedrez como su juego favorito, lo cual los ayudará a prepararse mejor académicamente y a desarrollar mejores hábitos de estudio para cuando ingresen en los colleges y universidades de la nación.

Dtora. admtva. de las Artes

Escuelas Públicas de Miami-Dade.


© 2008 El Nuevo Herald. All Rights Reserved.

Seniors, Collectors and Hall of Famers Meet in Florida

The Senior Open, Chess Collectors International and Hall of Fame Induction are all set to converge in a thrilling week of chess from April 28-May 3 in Boca Raton/Miami Florida. Watch the games live on starting with the first round on April 28, at 7 PM EST. Read a complete schedule of events and see the tournament page.


On May 3, GMs Larry Christiansen, Nick DeFirmian and Joel Benjamin will be inducted into the Chess Hall of Fame. GM Susan Polgar will give a speech and a simul in conjunction with the celebrations.

GM Becerra Visits Miami Senior

Carlos Diaz created excitement for chess at Miami Senior while he was there. I visited the school at his invitation the first year I started in 2005. Carlos taught a chess elective but transferred to Hialeah Senior this past year. It was not a pleasant separation. He gave his heart and soul to the chess program. They attended both MICA and PCS tournaments. His chess elective class was as organized as any I have seen. Most impressive was that he was willing to share all of his lessons, curriculum, ideas and tests for the good of M-DCPS chess programs. He was not afraid of competition. He shared my vision and saw the bigger picture. He is a true gentleman & educator and deserves some credit for the success of Miami Senior's success. Now he is re-building Hialeah Senior into a power.
Mr. Bigorra took over the chess class this year but left mid year for Arizona. Now Math teacher Julio Aguilar has stepped in with a vengeance. I met him at the M-D College tournament. He is also an assistant basketball coach. He is busy but he is in to chess. He took his students to Orlando where they became the first OPEN state champions from Miami since MICA (club team) used an all star team to win the K-12 Open section in 2002 and since the Miami Jackson Senior days who were lead by my good friend FM Marcel "the Magician" Martinez. Miami Senior also finished in a tie for 4th place at nationals in the Open section. Keep doing what you are doing Julio!
GM Julio Becerra, arguably the best player in Florida and a serious contender for the US Championships, visited the school last week. He analyzed his game against GM Eugene Perelshteyn at Foxwoods. He played white and Ruy Lopez. His main message was " constant attacks are the foundation for tactical maneuvers" . He also said to be patient and wait to capture pieces. Opening up the lines...opens positions. See the game below. Thanks for supporting our programs Julio.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Region V & VI Battle at Homestead Senior

Ms Nodal of Pine Lake waits for her students.

Miami Heights ready to go!

Ruth Sommerfeld's last hurrah!

Gulfstream Elementary

TDs Evelio and Alejandro

Mr. Soler of Redland Elementary

Middle School combatants

K-8 Results

1. Campbell Drive

2. Paul Bell

3. Centennial

4. McMillan

5. Cutler Ridge

Saturday, April 26, 2008

OPEN Letter to Dr. Rudolph Crew

Dear Dr. Rudy Crew,

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Webber J. Charles and I am an art teacher and chess facilitator at Edison Park Elementary School. I am writing you on behalf of the nearly 250 teachers teaching chess in our school district. As President-Elect of the Miami-Dade Chess Teacher Association, I would like to inform you of the many successes our school district has received competing in scholastic chess locally, state-wide, and nationally. During the 2008 Florida Super State Scholastic Chess Tournament, a dozen Dade-County schools performed brilliantly, receiving trophies in all categories. Nationally, half a dozen Dade County schools have been recognized for their outstanding board play. There are 244 chess teachers and over 5,500 students participating in scholastic chess via the AEP Chess Component, Title I Chess, chess elective courses offered in middle and high schools and school chess clubs. There are more children and families involved with chess in Dade-County Schools than ever before.

Over the past three years there has been unprecedented growth and progress made in establishing chess as an integral component of “quality” education in our schools. It is evident cognitive processes developed by chess has had a profound impact on our students and their endeavors in other academic disciplines. The chess program I have implemented at my school has drastically changed the culture and morale of our student body. Our students are inspired by our chess team’s ongoing success. The newspaper editorials, radio interviews, and the acts of affirmation by constituents in the community are all a result of chess in our school. It has helped our administration increase parent involvement, build a rapport with local small businesses and companies, and most importantly, has afforded our students with opportunities to travel.

During this fiscally challenging period, I understand all things are subject to reconsideration in making very difficult, yet necessary budget reformations. On behalf of the M-DCTA and the nearly 6,000 children actively participating in scholastic chess through the innovative programs our district implements, I call for your full support of all chess initiatives. Chess in our schools is an undeniably growing phenomenon warranting the attention and care of those charged with steering education in the right direction. Choose to support chess in our schools. Do not cut critical chess programs and initiatives which create opportunities for thousands of students to begin to believe they can achieve in our school system.


Webber J. Charles
President-Elect of the Miami-Dade Chess Teachers Association

To Whom It May Concern:

I don't know if chess programs will be cut but I have heard there is a strong possibility. Please don't wait until it is too late. Write letters now and let your voice be heard. We have come too far. There is strength in numbers. Budget meetings are going now.

Webber J. Charles

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Miami Senior High Ties for 4th at Nationals

Dear Colleagues,

This weekend the Miami Senior High chess team participated in the 2008 U. S. National High School (K-12) Chess Championship in Atlanta. In the K-12 Open section there were 338 participants. Juan "Camilo" Arango came tied for 4th place winning 5/7, Ian Pico placed first in the U1400 section and Alfonso Chie came in 3rd in the same category.Javier Abreu won 4/7, Alberto Delgado won 3.5/7 and Frank Lopez won 2/7.
I am proud to say that even though we did not win the national championship we ended up 3 points behind the winner. We tied for fourth place overall but due to tie breaks were awarded the sixth place trophy. Yes that is correct, we are the sixth ranked high school chess team in the entire United States. This is an accomplishment that these young man should be commended on. I also would like to acknowledge that as a team we also won 12th place in the National Blitz Championship. It has been a memorable week for all of them and they wanted to make sure that each and everyone of you know that they could not do have done it without your support. Once again the team would like to thank Mrs. Mabel Garcia, Mrs. Rembert, Dr. Tosado, the administration, all teachers ,and EESAC for their continuing support and providing these young men the opportunity to succeed and excel in their endeavours.
Once again thank you all for your support. Next is the National Invitational SuperStars tournament in Tampa, Florida on May 2-4. We will be leaving after school with hopes to continue showing the rest of world the caliber of talent that our faculty and administration is and has been developing for years.

The Miami High Chess Team
Julio C. Aguilar
Math Teacher/Chess Coach

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MaCarthur South Career Day

Roger Martinez won 4/5 at PCS

Former School Board member Frank Cobos gets schooled by Roger Martinez

I attended "Career Day" at YMAACD @ MacArthur South last week. Joseph Terrano also teaches a chess elective class. I spoke to three different groups. I ran into Frank Cobos during breakfast and chatted about the chess program. He says chess was very important during his youth. He says it helped him develop many skills he still uses today. The next day I returned to visit the chess class from 7:30 am to 9:10. We took a demo board, DVDs, and chess sets. Alex Villafuerte (1968) came with me and gave a strong lesson. Roger Martinez and Stuart Ortiz both played a PCS tournament this past Saturday and did very well. Roger tied for first place.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Miami-Dade Shines at State

Ruth Sommerfeld' daughter and grandson (Olympia Heights)

Talented duo- Jeffrey Haskell and Daniel Ludwig TD at State

Jonathan Ochoa (McMillan Middle) won 4/6 in K-8 Under

Sandra Taylor of Charles Hadley waits for round to start

National Master Karel Gonzalez

Chady Hamwi (North Beach) wins 4.5/6 in K-5 Open

2nd grader Toni makes her move (Edison Park)

Norwood star shine!

Edison Park girl power!

Cane Puma of Krop Senior

Camilo Arango leads Miami Senior to State Championship