|PLEASE NOTE: VERMONT CHESS CAMP WILL NOT TAKE PLACE IN 2009.|
Thank you for your support. Please visit our site later this year for more information.
Download, print and display the 2009 Chess Camp Poster! Click on the thumbnail below (letter size):
The Hasty Hat
Our venue for 2009: St. Michael's College, Colchester, VermontWith a tip of the hat to Arthur Bisguire
by the late John Balch,
Founder and former Director of the Vermont Chess Camp
The teacher set up the demo board and asked, "Who sees a mate in three?" A dozen hands went up, but not one student had the answer.
To get students to "Think Hard, Think Twice" (with apologies to IBM's founder Thomas Watson) we have adapted the archaic practice of plunking a "dunce cap" atop the head of a student who answers incorrectly. Instead of a dunce cap, in fun and some merriment, a child gets the "Hasty Hat". The student wears it until another answers hastily - usually a matter of seconds. This Hasty Hat is a piece of poster board rolled conically and labeled vertically with the words "Hasty Hat".
The hat comes from Arthur Bisguire's "Ten Tips to Winning Chess" and from an incident with a student who lost a "won" game. He was enraged and frustrated: "Stupid, stupid, how could I be so stupid?" he roared. After he had calmed down (and picked up the pieces) his teacher said: "You're not stupid. Stupidity is not your problem. Haste is your mortal enemy in chess."
That is one of several important lessons taught in Bisguire's very helpful pamphlet, which is available at no charge from the USCF.
Read it carefully, not hastily.