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Elementary Nationals Preview Print E-mail
By Jerry Nash   
May 9, 2007
Gaylord Opryland Resort, Photo Todd Andrews

by USCF Scholastic director Jerry Nash

In two days, the 2007 National Elementary Championship kicks off. The event is scheduled for Nashville, TN from May.11-13 at the enormous Gaylord Opryland Resort hotel and convention center. This Nationals will bring together over 2000 players from 45 states! At least as many parents, family, teachers, and coaches will also be present. As the USCF's Scholastic director, I'm very excited to see over 4000 people gathered in Nashville for a chess tournament!

I love to watch the faces of those who have not attended a national event before. The expression in their eyes is priceless as they see row upon row of tables holding a thousand chess sets. I enjoy walking the halls and visiting the team rooms throughout the weekend. I love to walk through the hotel lobby and see a group of students hunched over a chess set. I will casually walk over and ask, “Hey. Is there some kind of chess tournament going on here?” Their faces light up as they tell me about the tournament hall and where they came from and how high they placed in their state tournament. Of course sometimes they look at me like, “Well, duh! You must be the only one who doesn’t know there’s a chess tournament!”

On Saturday morning at 9 am, GM Susan Polgar will give a simul. IM Josh Waitzkin will be signing his new book, "The Art of Learning " at 5:30-7:30 pm on Friday, May 11 and 9:30-3 pm on Saturday, May 12. For more information about Josh and The Art of Learning, please visit www.joshwaitzkin.com . All proceeds from the book signings will go to research at the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Check uschess.org starting Saturday for daily updates from Nashville, including photos, results and games!