NCC Kids Page
The Nashville Chess Center has a range of scholastic events and activities just for the kids! Here is the information about all of our current NCC Kids offerings:
NCC Kids Sunday Chess Club
Children and their parents are invited to join us each and every Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the Nashville Chess Center located at 2911 Belmont Blvd. All K-12 skill levels are welcome from total beginner to advanced players. Kids get to play chess games with each other practicing their skills against new opponents from different schools and possibly meeting up with old friends from chess tournaments. There is a teacher-led chess lesson around 2:30 - 3:00. We typically end the day with Bughouse at 3:30. Bughouse is a highly entertaining team chess game. NCC Instructors are on-site throughout to work with kids, and the library and computers are available also. The Kids Sunday Club is free but only members can check out books from the library. Come and go as you please or stay for the entire three hours. No pre-registration is required. We hope to see you there!
ChessKid.com NCC Kids Online Group
NCC Kids can join us online to play against other Nashville Chess Kids and compete in our online tournaments. We have a private group on www.chesskid.com called “Nashville Chess Center Kids.” Use Safari or another web browser to go to the full site. The ChessKid App doesn’t have groups or tournaments capabilities. To join the “Nashville Chess Center Kids” Club on www.chesskid.com, you must assign one of the coaches as your chesskid account guardians (this can be done in the settings). Admins of the club are Coach Todd (MusicCityMaster on Chesskid, firstname.lastname@example.org), Coach Tiffany (Coach_Tiffany, email@example.com) and Coach Gainer (CoachGainer, firstname.lastname@example.org). Just add one of the coaches as a guardian and they will add you to the group.
Once you’re in the group, you can send challenges to other group members and coaches. To play in the online tournaments, you can join up to fifteen minutes before a start time. Once logged in to ChessKid, click on “PLAY” on the left menu, Click on “PLAY FAST” and you should see any upcoming tournaments listed in the far right Chat Box. Once you join the event, do not leave the “FASTCHESS” console – it will start games automatically and each subsequent round will begin automatically once all the games from the round before are complete. If you accidentally leave while a tournament is in progress, unfortunately, it won’t let you back in. See you online!
NCC offers one-day and week-long Chess Camps throughout the year to K-12 students. Our one-day camps are on Shopping Day (the day after Thanksgiving), Martin Luther King JR. Day (January), and President’s Day (February). In the Summer, there are typically four NCC Summer Camps lasting a week each. The camps each run from 9 AM to 4 PM and include instruction and tournaments.
NCC Chess Camps are open to players of all skill levels from total beginner to advanced. Players will be grouped accordingly. Campers will receive daily chess lessons from skilled instructors and make friendships to last a lifetime. Some of our favorite camp activities include free play chess, tournaments, chess art, memory exercises, chess challenges and puzzles for prizes, giant chess, four-player chess, Bughouse, chess movies, pizza party, popsicles and winning trophies!
Now that you know the rules, are you ready to compete? Chess Club is the practice and the Tournaments are the games! NCC offers tournaments throughout the year for players to test their skills against the playing field. During the Fall, we have three major Scholastic City Qualifiers for K-12 players. In the Winter, we hold the Nashville Scholastic City Championship and assist the Tennessee Chess Association for the Regional Scholastic Qualifiers, both Individual and Team. In the Spring, there’s State Finals for Individuals and Teams, the Tennessee All-Girls State Championship, and Nationals where we offer on-site coaching. Tournaments help us gain skills in competition, self-confidence, being a part of a team and other motivating factors. Here’s what to expect if you are new to Nashville Scholastic Chess Tournaments:
- Above all else, we play chess because it is a game and it’s fun. We work very hard to foster an environment where Middle-Tennessee school children can productively learn from their mistakes and rejoice in the successes they and their peers are able to achieve.
- Please pre-register before the event! There is a lot of work that goes into getting students in the correct section and updating all of the computer files. If you sign your child up ahead of time on our website – www.nashvillechess.org – then you do not have to sign up that morning at the event! From now on, we will no longer accept the advanced registration rate at the door for letting us know you are coming. All players paying their entries at the door will have to pay the more expensive late fee rate. Pay with your early registration please!
- When you arrive, first find a place for you and your friends/teams/family to hang out for the day. Our host schools are amazing! They usually provide us with plenty of space for you to hang out. Kids spend a lot of time hanging out at chess tournaments. Each round typically lasts an hour, so if a competitor finishes in 20 minutes, then they will have a solid chunk of down time before the next round begins. Bring things for them to play outside when weather permits (soccer ball, baseball glove and ball, outdoor games, etc). We strongly discourage bringing electronic devices such as ipads for them. Chess is a temporary escape from the screens and we want the students to be focusing on that and forming bonds with the chess community. Bring chess sets for them to practice on with friends! Other things you might want to bring: camping chairs, snacks, a book or something to keep you entertained, and lots of positive encouragement to share with your chess player.
- Come and check in to be sure your student is on our list. We will post pre-registration lists on the wall that you can double check, or you can come check in with us at the front door when you arrive and get settled. Take time to familiarize yourself with each campus – find the tournament hall, bathrooms, etc.
- When you hear the announcement that “pairings are up” – then it is time for your child to go look at the posted pairing sheets and find two pieces of important information:
- What is my board number?
- Am I playing the white pieces or black pieces?
- Help your child to the numbered boards in the playing hall, take some photos of them, give them a hug or kiss and then parents typically leave the playing room. Sometimes we have bleachers in the playing hall, but please do not hang out next to your child’s board. Chess is a serious and often stressful sport to play. They will do better on their own, rather than their parent being nearby constantly pulling their attention away from the game. We understand some parents are not comfortable leaving their kids alone anywhere and that is fine, but I recommend finding a location where you can keep an eye on their back – so they hopefully will not notice you are there. Chess promotes independent thought and we love seeing our chess kids have full concentration when they are competing. Let your child know where you will be and be sure they know the way back to where they hang out. Of course, our staff will be there to help them anytime they are in need (and many of us are parents too).
- You stay and play all the games (5 rounds typically), no matter if you win all five or lose all five. If you win, it will get tougher and if you lose, it will get easier. Students only play their teammates from school if it’s absolutely necessary. Standings will be posted by round 3 to keep up with the event.
- Which section does my child play in?
- K-1 kids should all play in K-1 when it is offered.
- 2nd and 3rd graders have a choice – play in their Primary K-3 section with the rated kids or play in the Unrated section with kids who may be a few years older, but are on the same skill level. The Unrated is fine as long as you have a little talk with the younger kids letting them know “Hey, you may play a 6th grader in the Unrated, but they are unrated just like you and on the same level.” If you think this would be too stressful for your 2nd grader, then let them play with the kids their age in Primary.
- 4th graders and up should play in Unrated at their first event or two, then join their rated age group. K-6 is Elementary, K-9 is Junior High and K-12 is High School. Do that in the goal of building some experience and knowing how the tournaments work, then taking on the more challenging rated section.
- To join a rated section, students need US Chess Federation memberships ($14-$19 per year for kids depending on their age). You can get a membership through our organization at an event or at www.uschess.org.
- Chess tournaments are like a school day. It’s not like a soccer game that takes an hour, it literally takes from like 8 AM to 3 PM for most events. Some of the younger kids (K-3 aged) may get out of there an hour or two earlier, because they move quicker, but there is no guarantee. We have had many parents over the years walk in surprised to find out that they have to stay so late. Award ceremonies will take place at the conclusion of the final round for the section. Most tournaments include individual player trophies and then team trophies for the school.
- Is it OK to come late or leave early? YES! Just please let us know of those plans. Come find a tournament director when you arrive late or find us to let us know that you will be leaving early. If you do not, then they will be paired and some poor kid will not have anyone to play. So please do not just leave without letting us know. At certain events, like the team tournament in March, coaches may highly discourage attending unless a student can commit 100%. In individual events, it's not usually a big deal.
- Please bring some cash and support the concession stand. 100% of the concession stand money goes to the school that is hosting the tournament.
- The Nashville Chess Center is a 501-c3 non-for-profit organization. If you know of a student that ever needs help participating because of financial hardships or because of transportation issues, please let me know and I will find a way to get them involved.
- We ALWAYS need more help! If you are a parent that is planning to be at the tournament all day anyway, please offer to help for an hour or two if possible. We need parents for the following jobs at each event: Concessions, runners, setting up tables and chairs, tearing down tables and chairs, score keeping, ushering, etc. We appreciate any support! Todd Andrews – (615) 693 - 1535 NashvilleChess@gmail.com