I would like to thank all of you for your support, in particular, the Brantford Chess Club as well as Ontario Chess association this time. Without your sponsorship I would not have been able to travel to Mexico , become the Under18 girls’ champion and gain the WIM title in North American Youth Chess Championships held in Mexico, from May 27 to May 31 in 2015.
Ontario Open 2015 in Brantford is a great feast, which left Qiyu a lot of unforgettable and sweet memories. She feels that chess players in Canada are also well-respected and recognized by the society. During the opening ceremony, Mr. Gashgarian presented Qiyu with a custom- made ceramic plaque (with her name on it!!!) in recognition of her world youth title. The organizers have also fund-raised $800 for helping her chess trips. We also feel privileged to get to know our host family Mr. John Vlasov, and we had a great time with him, and with his caring and hospitable wife. Qiyu doesn’t feel that chess is a lonely and individual game anymore, instead a lot of great friends are behind her and supporting her efforts in many different ways. The organizers did a great job in inviting GMs and very strong players to compete in this open. They held a very classy and splendid opening ceremony. The thoughtful organizers have raised chess to a new level and ignited the passion of the chess players and youths with high prizes for winners in each category and good conditions (e.g. free healthy fruits, coffee, tea, and snacks). Here are some photos from the opening ceremony.
At the opening ceremony, Brantford town crier Mr. David Mckee officially announced the beginning of the tournament , Note: Look at our GMs’s big smile, the announcement must be very funny!
The spring of Ottawa just came several days ago. It’s time to do more outdoor sports, and Qiyu is engaging with the training of pole vault and triple jump. Pole vault is definitely harder than chess! We’ll know how far she can go after the initial two-month training . In the recent Ottawa track and field finals on May 19, 2015, she won the 2nd place in pole vault. In her school field and track day, she set a new grade 9 school record, 8.95m in triple jump. Compared with professional atheletes, these are nothing. However, the results are quite decent for a full-time IB high school girl and chess player.
One of the ealiest trainings as a fresh starter on April 8, 2015
Qiyu Zhou will play in these two upcoming international opens: Cappelle la Grande and Reykjavik Open 2015. These will be her first international opens.
Origami in Education
Abstract: Origami is an educational tool of great value. A partial list of these benefits includes: visual sequential memory, ability to follow directions (visual or auditory), eye hand coordination, spatial perception, and fine motor skills. The child also develops associative thinking skills, improves patience, concentration, and attention to details. Most of all, it involves emotions, which can calm down the hype-active children and excite the bored ones in the class.
When a child is faced with a piece of blank paper he/she has an urge to draw on it, which is one type of creative activity. But very rarely does the child think of folding this piece of paper into something, another type of creative activity. Continue reading
In Finland, the youth event is much cheaper than in Canada. First, the registration fee is only around 15 euros. Second, the country is small and every playing venue is within driving distance of less than seven hours. The most important part is that you don’t need to pay for hotel expenses. No, we don’t live in a hotel; instead parents and chess players sleep on the floor of the school classrooms where the tournament is held.
The photo below shows the condition of the classroom as it was in the 2009 Finnish School Chess Championships. The school provides you with a mattress, and you bring other necessities for your stay. You take a shower in the bathroom of the school gym. We tried to make the stay more fun and adventurous for Qiyu, so we set up a tent for her in the classroom. She was not helping at all, because she could not put down a book she found in the classroom.
Please note: this fiction is non-chess related! If you’re not interested in fictions, you can give it up here.
Case of the Wrongful Heir
Written by Qiyu Zhou in Grade 8 in 2013
It was the day of the funeral of Sir Edward McDonald. The sixty-year-old man had died the week before, on a Wednesday. McDonald was being buried the following Friday. He came from a rich family, and owned large enterprises and stocks in several of the leading companies around the world. He was indeed wealthy.
Sir McDonald had a young wife in her thirties named Helen McDonald. They had two sons, the elder one being Simon, and the younger one Benjamin. Simon was fourteen years old, and Benjamin was two years younger. The immediate relatives of the family were McDonald senior’s younger brother Kevin, a rather calculating politician, and his wife, Jane.
I have been passionate about chess since I started this game at the age of three years and 10 months. By taking international competitive chess tournaments and championships, I have visited over 37 countries and made a lot of friends. I understand that people from all backgrounds, ages, ethnic races and genders can enjoy and/or succeed at chess. These trips have widened my view, deepened my knowledge , and let me visit numerous amazing places as well as meet amazing people around the world. This rich experience helps me appreciate and understand different cultures, geographies, and become more open-minded to different things. Chess has sharpened my mind and developed both my IQ and EQ in general. It develops my ability to visualize moves and patterns in mind, and helps me to create plans and focus my thoughts and energy to solve complicated problems as they occur. One such example is in math, where chess helps my spatial skills. The skills in chess can help me apply my knowledge in dynamic and creative ways. It is reported by scientific research that all these skills are transferable to other academic fields and to daily life. For example, I have a very strong academic background, and have loved physics since I was four years old. In my spare time I read a lot about quantum physics. I am adept at computing. I also enjoy various sports, such as badminton and tennis, and arts, especially graphic design and music. I am also a competitive swimmer and have trained in Toronto and Ottawa, and won many regional places. We know that everyone is born with special talents, and we are all special as individuals. I understand that no matter how talented one is, hard work is the only way to accomplish a dream. Playing chess raises my self-esteem and tells me that hard work is the key to every success. Chess brings me a peaceful mind, and tells me the positive way to face both losses and wins. Chess teaches me that determination and self-motivation are one of the keys to succeed in life. This game also teaches me about sportsmanship and to never give up when facing challenges and difficulties. Chess develops my ability to think logically and to have intellectual creativity. Chess also tells me that I can be the leading person in one special area in the world. By teaching chess to other children, I am happy to find that the excited kids can calm down, and the overly hyper ones can sit and play a board game for hours. Though I am still not successful in chess, so far this hobby has contributed a lot to my personal growth both in life and school.
Note: Chess in schools program was endorsed by EU Parliament in March 2012, and I am one of the three ambassadors (Mr. Mihail Gorbaczev, Ms. Zsusza Polgar, and Qiyu Zhou)
Today Finnish Kaleva published an on-line story of Qiyu:
Title: “Qiyu Zhou finally became World Champion”
From January 2014 to June 2014, I was 4 1/2 years old, played 2 tournaments under 8 years old group in Nice and Hyeres, obtained two 3rd place. My first chess coach was Mr. Gilles beauvisage from Club d’échecs d’Antibes at the city of Antibes, one of the most beautiful town in the world. The afternoon game had always been very hard for me , because I needed to take a 3-4 hour nap in general. I went to the chess club once a week for a round 1 hour in the morning on some Saturdays, then my family and I spent the whole day on the beach. I remembered that My mom didn’t want to wait for me in the club because she preferred to hang around in the town. Each time she dropped me there, then bought me back some nice cookies. Chess was a very easy and fun game for me when I was young.
My first tournaments in Nice, Antibes, France
My earliest girl friends, and they were around 8 years old. We often had a lot of fun together before and after the games. Mainly we drew pictures.
Postmortem: I didn’t know how to record the game at the age of 4, so my French chess friends asked me to recall the game for them. The funny thing is that I all the time separate my life with chess. I played chess in tournaments, but I didn’t want to talk about it and bring it to my daily life anymore. So I can hardly remember any of my games. I will do sth. else after the tournaments.
With my first club coach
My French school teacher collected the newspapers for me and gave them to my mom when she picked me up.
He was our family’s great friend and was forever remembered by the whole family.