Todd and Debbie Rose are parents of Joshua and Noah Rose. The boys attend Emmanuel College and have been participating in chess from grassroots level all the way through to World Cadet Championships (Belarus).
Noah is a 3x Queensland Junior Champion (under 8, under 10 & under 12) and Australian representative who has competed at a state, national and international level.
Josh is an Australian representative who has competed in inter-school state championships multiple times and now plays more for enjoyment while pursuing other interests in high school.
Now to get into the questions…….
Hi Debbie, thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for our blog series.
1) What prompted your children to learn chess, how did they get involved?
Josh wanted to learn to play chess in Grade 1 after chess lessons held by Gardiner Chess were introduced at school. Initially we said no as we thought he was too young and would lose interest, but Josh kept asking us so eventually we agreed for him to start the following term. After learning the basics Josh then went on to teach Noah (who was only 3 at the time!)
2) Do either you or your husband Todd play chess?
I don’t play chess – I know how the pieces move but that is about the extent of my knowledge. Todd also didn’t play chess but once the boys started showing interest he will often play against them and over time has increased his skills by playing on chess.com.
3) If we were to run some adult chess classes do you think that would be of interest to you and/or other parents?
This is probably not something I would be interested in, but I know many other parents become interested in chess once their children start playing and would be keen to sharpen their skills.
4) Was chess something you ever thought your children would take interest in?
I was very surprised as chess was never something I considered my children would be interested in.
5) How often do your children play or practice chess?
Noah practices most days. Now that Josh is in high-school and has other interests, he primarily plays for enjoyment
6) Do you believe there are any benefits to children playing chess, other than leisure?
Yes I have seen many benefits from the boys playing chess. To mention a few – concentration, memory, thinking ahead, patience, sportsmanship, friendships, maturity & confidence.
7) Have you made friends within the chess community as a parent?
Yes I have made some great friends. The chess community is very welcoming and friendly.
8) Your children have played many tournaments including the World Cadets Blitz and Rapid Championships in Belarus, could you tell us more about this experience and your thoughts on the event as a parent?
It is still quite unbelievable to both Todd and I that our children played in a World Championship for chess. The atmosphere at the championships was amazing and the boys made many friends from different countries. It was definitely a cultural experience with the architecture, food & accommodation. The event itself had very high security with armed police surrounding the venue and all handbags and loose items had to go through a scanner when entering. Adults and children were also frisked to get into the building. All the children entering the playing area also had to be checked before each game to ensure they did not have any electronics on their person. One of the organisers of the event was Anastasia Sorokina who was actually once an employee of Gardiner Chess but now lives back in her home country of Belarus. The event itself was really well run and very enjoyable. Noah ended up placing 20th in the world for Rapids which he was very happy about.
9) Children in Queensland have an abundance of chess opportunities, do your children prefer weekend events or school-based chess?
They prefer both! School-based chess is fun as they are learning with their friends and get the chance to represent their school. Weekend events are also great as they get to play against different age groups and strengths.
10) As we know, children go through highs and lows in any competitive sport, how do you approach this as a chess parent?
I try to be supportive and encouraging no matter what the outcome.
11) With two boys playing chess, is there much competition between them? How do you manage this?
When both boys were playing competitively this was definitely an issue – in particular when they had to play against each other! I would always tell them to just try their best and be good sports no matter what the outcome.
12) What is your favourite chess tournament to attend as a parent?
Doeberl Cup in Canberra was a favourite. Gardiner Chess does a great job of organising the trip and the whole family enjoyed being part of the Queensland group.
13) What is your children’s favourite chess tournament?
Any tournament that they do well in (haha!) School team tournaments are definitely a highlight. Noah – Doeberl. Josh – Cookies Chess Events.
14) Is there anything you would recommend for parents considering putting their kids in chess?
I would recommend that parents don’t assume that chess might be too complicated for children to learn especially at a young age. Children are much more capable of learning chess than we give them credit for!
15) Noah was selected to play in the inaugural Chesskid.com Online competition – how was that experience for him and the family?
Noah playing in the Chesskid competition was another amazing experience. We were a bit unsure how he would go given that the tournament started around 1am in the morning (due to most participants living in America) so he went to bed early and then we woke him at midnight. He was paired with one of the highest rated junior players in America (Brandon Jacobson) and received some personalised coaching from him. All participants had to have an in-person arbiter to ensure there was no cheating so Andrew Fitzpatrick from Gardiner Chess came to our house for the duration of the tournament from 1am to around 7am (thanks Andrew!) Noah played extremely well and won against some of the world’s top juniors. Definitely a night to remember!
16) Do your children have any favourite Grandmasters they like to follow?
Noah – Mikhail Tal & Moulthun Ly. Josh – Garry Kasparov.
17) What do you look for in an event when looking to enter your children into?
I look for events that I think they would enjoy and that might give them the opportunity to play against higher rated players.
18) What are some of the things you would love to see happen in chess here in Queensland/Australia?
Junior chess in Queensland is extremely strong, which is evident with how well Queensland Junior’s achieved at the last Australian Junior Championships and also in the recent Australian School Championships. Due to the last two years being very difficult in relation to organising in-person tournaments I am hopeful that more tournaments will be able to be held in the near future and Queensland can continue to develop the multitude of talent that is currently being displayed by so many junior players.
We would like to thank Todd and Debbie Rose for being a part of our blog series, it is wonderful to hear from a parents perspective!