What is the checklist before leaving?
This is probably the most important aspect. It is going to be a hard tournament and serious preparation needs to be done. A player should be working on their chess a certain amount each day. Puzzles are an excellent way to prepare – they are a bit like doing general fitness exercises each day.
Playing games against a friendly adult or strong junior is another way.
Obviously some intense coaching can be helpful and reading chess books is great.
Playing as many rated tournaments as possible is another good preparation.
There has to be a balance between good preparation and getting a young child tired and stressed, so be led by the enthusiasm of the child and don’t worry if they need some downtime as well.
You want your child to be aware that it is going to be hard, without scaring them into thinking they wonít be able to win any games.
If they are the sort of child who has breezed through local competitions, always coming in the top few, it can be confronting to find themselves losing, so you do want to prepare them for that. On the other hand, all Australians do win games and a positive feeling is helpful in playing well.
Once again all children react differently, so you and your coach will be the best person to know how to prepare your child for international competition.
This is up to each person to sort out with their health provider. Often they are not totally up to date with needed vaccinations, so a group such as travel doctor can be good, but it is an individual choice.
You will normally need a visa. When going to the more exotic countries, the visa might be organized when you get there, but usually you have to get it in Australia. Give yourself at least a month to get it, to save yourself stress. Usually by paying more you can get a visa done more quickly, but getting it done early saves you $ and stress.
Delegation members are encouraged to fund raise for themselves. When doing so please make it clear for whom the fundraising is being done.
E.g. ‘Minnie-Mouse’ of Canberra is fundraising to cover expenses to go to the World Youth. Do not imply you are fund raising for the “Australian Team”.
If planning to approach a corporate sponsor, please check first with the management committee to ensure you are not both approaching the same organisation.
Some easy fund raisers:
- running the canteen at a chess tournament
- running a lightning or rapid junior tournament &ndash can easily bring in $500 to $1,000 particularly if you get a free venue at a school.
- Chocolate drive – very popular and does bring in a lot quite easily. Sell at work, schools and chess tournaments
At one point all children exchanged little gifts at the World Youth. With the growth in size, it has become less common. However you will find, especially in the younger categories, that gifts are exchanged.
They can be quite simple and inexpensive:
- a postcard
- a little clip-on Koala
- a pin or badge
- some tourist information about Australia
If you have a bit more money or access to sponsorship, there are some cute toys available – beanie koalas or kangaroos, a platypus, kookaburra or boomerangs.
It is voluntary, but a nice gesture to exchange a small gift with your opponents.