Yesterday I had my first experience of attending a tournament as a chess parent as my son scored 6/8 and came 2nd= in the Heywood Junior Congress Pawns section. And it occurred to me that there are certain useful guidelines for parental survival at these events:
- Getting there early allows you to set up camp on the best tables, marking out your territory with your stuff.
- Bring your own food unless you like sausages and chips.
- Do NOT give your child coca-cola and mars bars to maintain their energy levels. Water plus apples and/or bananas is much better.
- If seating is likely to be in short supply bring a camping chair or two.
- Take something to do, there are long periods of waiting which should not be filled with anxiety!
- Restrain both positive and negative emotions when your child reports their results; they can live without having to calm you down.
- Take a small camera just in case they win a prize.
- Consider bringing something for your child to hold during the game, especially if they like to fidget.
I may revisit this subject later on. Meanwhile here’s a short video clip by a chess parent: