February 13, 2012
By Anonymous

One week out of the year, my school has an extraordinary and special program, named Minimester, where students have the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom environment. There are a variety of ways to be educated, whether it is travelling to Europe to learn about their culture, hiking the mountains of Peru, or exploring the jungles in Costa Rica. Students who are involved in a sport and are not able to leave town also have the chance to learn outside of their classrooms. Programs such as the History of Football or Chess are taught on campus during school hours. Since I am always playing soccer during Minimester, this year, I selected Chess.

Chess is the world’s most popular game, played by millions worldwide. During our Chess Minimester, we learned basic tactics, had professionals in Chess teach us their strategies, played in tournaments, were informed about the history of Chess by a guest speaker, and played different types of Chess. Throughout the week, we played in two major tournaments. Personally, I barely knew anything about this game before this Minimester; I only knew how the pieces moved. After playing several games and learning techniques from my peers and professionals, I began to enjoy this game.

Playing the games Blitz and Bughouse on the final day was my favorite part of Minimester, the unsurpassed part of my week. Blitz is regular chess except that each player has a one minute time limit instead of the usual twenty or forty five minute limit. This version of Chess was enjoyable to me because it required you to think on your toes. Also, each game ended quicker, not taking at least forty five minutes to play. Although Blitz was extremely entertaining, my favorite game played that day was named Bughouse. Bughouse is a two on two chess match, played on a five minute timer, which requires you to have chemistry with your partner. This was my favorite game because I could rely on my teammate to help me against my opponent. We played a Bughouse tournament and my partner and I conquered all of our enemies with ease.

Overall, the Chess Minimester was enjoyable; however, some changes could be made so it would be even better. I believe that our days could have started later because throughout the day we had a lot of downtime. We had random breaks, sometimes we would wait around meaninglessly for our guest speaker, and our lunches were too long. Also, in the beginning of the week, instead of learning about basic Chess strategies on paper, we could have learned about them on an actual board. Besides the minor issues, this Minimester was truly a pleasant one. In the span of one week, I transformed myself from a novice player into a thoughtful intermediate who actually values this highly strategic game.

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