ESCC: Pre-match preparation for the European Schools Chess Championships

The first round starts today at 4pm local time, which is 2 hours ahead of UK time.

Preparation until today for Zoe has mostly been simply settling in to the new environment and resting.

Zoe and Elizaveta (Liza) travelled together to Kavala on Sunday 15th which has given us all a day to recover and relax.

This was a good idea, since an earlyish flight meant a 3am start and we had to wait over 2 hours for the transfer from the airport (which itself was a 2 hour journey).

Liza and Zoe at the airport

Liza and Zoe at the airport

Meanwhile, Marianne, travelling a day later ‘only’ had a 4:30 am start with an uneventful flight to Thessaloniki Airport. However, there was a mix-up over the arrival time which meant they missed the taxi, but two hours later they were on a bus with a large Russian contingent.

The hotel is close enough to the venue, the food more than palatable (excellent breakfast!) and the sea nice and warm, although a 15-minute walk away to the beach.

Today things stepped up a gear, though, when Zoe met with her coach for the first time. We will not see the first-round draw until 12 noon, so it was simply a time to get introduced and to look a few moves deeper in one of the openings that Zoe already plays. Liza shares the same coach as Zoe, so it is not surprising that the format was the same, but Marianne’s was also similar, just enough to get the “chess brain working”.

Andrew is an ECF-accredited chess coach and very active in coaching juniors in the Oxfordshire area on a professional basis. He attends Cumnor Chess Club when he gets a chance to take a break from coaching on Thursday nights. One of the books he recommends to his students is ‘How to Beat Your Dad at Chess’ but his own children are definitely beyond the point of needing such a reference!

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