Late in June, 14 chess champions ages 11 to 17 gathered for the 1st Schein-Friedman Scholastic Project Camp — a free week long high level, intense chess class taught by two of the nation’s top chess instructors and coaches. The class or camp, as it’s sometimes called, was sponsored by the Schein-Friedman Scholastic Project, with the help of the US Chess School (this camp was also the 21st USCS camp).
The students and parents were very grateful to Mark Schein and Aviv Friedman, the two founders of the Schein-Friedman Foundation, with special thanks to Greg Shahade, and to Dr. Jim Roberts, the main sponsor of the USCS. The instructors were IM Armen Ambartsoumian, Head Coach of the American Chess Academy, and multi-time US youth coach for the world championships, and IM Greg Shahade, founder of New York Masters, the U.S. Chess League, and the US Chess School.
The students each had a minimum rating of 2100 and were from Texas, New York, California, and Hawaii.
The class was held in the music room of the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles in Glendale, California, where each student had an unobstructed view of the projector screen, the chess demo board, and the instructors.
The instructors asked about each student’s chess goals, chess playing style, and their other hobbies.
They were very kind and respectful and considerate to each student. Chilled water and snacks were personally handed out to each student every day and the instructors tried to make it as comfortable as possible with fans and AC units amidst the extreme heat wave in Los Angeles that week.
In the afternoons, each student played a challenging endgame position against a fellow student with 15 minutes on the clocks. IM Armen went over the games with the students, stressing that even GMs had difficulty in these positions. Four of the positions that were given are shown below. The object in each is for black to try and draw or win. Go ahead and challenge someone at these positions – good luck!