BAHAMAS CHESS FEDERATION CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL SUMMER CAMP
The Bahamas Chess Federation recently wrapped up its Chess Summer Camp Programme. The Chess Summer Camp Programme was one of many camps operated under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture’s yearly National Youth Summer Employment Programme and Summer Camp Programme. The camps are designed to help to enhance the skills of children, up to the age of 15, in a range of physical, creative and mental activities. The chess camp’s specific goals included exposing more young people to the game of chess, improving students’ chess skills and increasing interest in the intellectual sport.
For one month in July if one peered into the Holy Family Hall between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. one would have witnessed children, ranging in age and skill level, brimming with an excitement to learn and to participate in healthy competition. The camp attracted approximately fifty (50) children. Thirty percent (30%) of the children had never been exposed to the royal sport of chess before attending the camp.
Campers improved their chess game while learning important logic and critical thinking skills. The Chess Summer Camp Programme was taught by FIDE Master (FM) Cecil “Carver” Moncur, the only FIDE Master in The Bahamas. Mr. Moncur was assisted by Diana Williams. Nathaniel A. Higgs, Daijah Johnson, Dr. David Sands and Trinity Pinder served as camp volunteers.
Chess, as is true with all sports, offers young people a myriad of benefits and opportunities. Chess is also one of the most effective ways to improve problem solving skills and concentration. Studies have shown that one of the key educational benefits of chess is increasing memory and verbal reasoning skills. When young people play chess they learn that they need to concentrate and focus on the game. The ability to focus is a skill which is invaluable for performing well at school.
“The camp was fun, they taught me how to play chess and now I can go out and teach other people, like my dad, to play chess”, said Shiloh Minnis, Grade 3 student, Sts. Francis & Joseph School. Shiloh, who has only recently learnt chess, added: - “I also enjoyed the camp because I got to meet and play with other people.”
The Camp culminated with a chess tournament. Prizes for the tournament were divided into three divisions: - Bishop, Rook and Open. The Open section included advanced players (those who entered the camp with extensive chess playing experience). Intermediate players, those who entered the camp with some chess playing experience, participated in the Rook Division. The Bishop Division included absolute beginners, those who came to the camp not knowing chess. The results for the tournament are below:
1st Aidan Mart
2nd Seth Roberts
3. Avian Pride
4. Noah Albury
5. Trevor Bridgewater
1st Donte Dorelien
2nd Morgan Komolafe
3rd Olga Roussos
4th Alexandria E. Komolafe
5th Lhale Hanchell
1st Jasmine key
2nd Carlisa Saunders
3rd Bryce Espiritu
4th Carleena Saunders
5th Yehoshua Sunders
“This was an exciting summer camp for all ages and skill levels. We are proud to have assisted the Ministry of Youth & Sports in its great effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for our nation’s kids”, explained Elton Joseph, President, Bahamas Chess Federation. He continued: - “The Executive Committee would like to thank the camp counselors and volunteers as well as the caring parents who diligently dropped their kids off daily. We would like to also thank the BCF sponsors, including The MedNet Group of Companies, who generously supplied healthy snacks, drinks and shirts for the participants.”