Quality Chess Training Camp

Hi guys,

Best wishes from Heraklion, the capital of the Greek island Crete. Kallia and I are here to inspect possible venues for our next big project – the Quality Chess Training Camp! We have so far found three possible venues and will now have to debate the prices with the hotels.

Meanwhile, let me explain the basic concept for you. A seven day training camp in beautiful surroundings at affordable (off-season) all-inclusive prices.

This year I am hosting a training camp in my house for the third time. The first year had two participants, the second year six and this year we will be nine. However, I had to push people to come the last two years, while this year 21 people expressed serious interest.

I prefer such events greatly to one-on-one training. I charge £700 all-inclusive for the seven day summer camp, which involves a few sofas, some AirBnb and so on. With nine participants it feels like it has outgrown the “do-it-yourself” stage.

So here is the plan. Quality Chess will cooperate with a local organiser in Heraklion to have a camp in a hotel here for something like €899. Depending on the hotel we choose and get a good deal from. We have a favourite and they seemed interested.

The first camp will take place 4-10 November 2018 and will most likely be capped with a minimum rating of 2300. The second camp will take place in the beginning of May 2019 and be open for everyone.

In the first camp in November there will be two coaches, GM Boris Gelfand and GM Myself. Exactly how we will divide the job between us, we are still negotiating. I hope he will not jump ship in the process, so do not read this as an invitation, but as a blog post!! But the dates in November are specifically decided to fit around his schedule.

In the second camp in May, there will be more coaches and hopefully more participants. The November camp is a trial run for us to learn how to do this right. In May we will not have any rating restrictions, but a big camp with classes at multiple levels at the same time and some big lectures. The evenings will have blitz tournaments by the pool (not guaranteed a pool for November though :-(), simuls, a quiz night and so on. We hope for it to be possible to bring family members at good prices. Wives, kids, parents, siblings, grandparents. Whatever is needed for you to be able to come. I want it to be something special, which incorporates a great holiday with top level chess coaching.

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16 thoughts on “Quality Chess Training Camp”

  1. This sounds great, crossing my fingers for you that you can make it happen as intended! I’ll hope to be there in November. If not, the blogs and vlogs will surely make up for it.

  2. Jacob Aagaard

    Thanks for the messages of support. November and May should both go ahead. I cannot see why they would not. The main question will be the number of coaches and the division of the players in May.

  3. Interested in November’s session!Is there limit to number of partcipants in November?And how much time per day will be for training?

  4. Jacob Aagaard

    I am hoping we will get a confirmation from one particular hotel Monday or Tuesday. I will be at work Wednesday, so will probably publish preliminary information in a week or so. Including timings and so on.

    I am looking forward to it too. We will make it possible to bring spouses, parents or even kids, at acceptable prices.

  5. A few things. Quality Chess is a sponsor, it is not a Quality Chess event. I felt I did not make this clear earlier. I am the organiser together with a local guy. John is not involved beyond having agreed for us to use the brand and to sponsor the event with a few free books.

    We are working on the website at the moment. It will be up next week I think. Then we will also take pre-registrations.

    We have made an agreement with Lyttos Hotel, near Heraklion. It will be on an all-inclusive basis. The terms are pretty decent. Their website is: lyttosbeach.gr.

    The dates are 4th November (arrival day with an evening session) to the 10th November (departure day with a morning session). They are fixed and we have already bought plane tickets for Boris, Kallia and I.

    My main challenge right now is actually to put the schedule together. I want it on the website, but I doubt I will be able to have it on the site already for launch.

    A final note: if we get a surge of entries beyond what we had planned, we will get another coach.

  6. The dates for 2019 will be 8th to 14th May. Our local partner is organising a tournament ending on the 7th of May in the centre of Heraklion. The lineup of the coaches is not yet confirmed, but I will be there of course.

  7. This is something I think one could make a good buck on and create a great experience, if geared toward adults 1700-2300. IM Kopec had an adult chess training camp, which sold out instantly each year. In my first attempt to get in, I was too late, despite mailing in my entry the first day the info had been published, and he passed before the next camp.

  8. @David Milliern
    To me this is not about making money, but to have fun. I would not be surprised if Boris will end up as the only one making money out of the November camp 🙂

    But, November is exclusively meant as a trial run. In May we will have the open camp for everybody. I have no idea if this thing will work, but it will definitely be a lot of fun being there. Worst case scenario, I spend two times ten days on Crete on a top hotel for the cost of a holiday on Crete!

  9. These camps sound like a very nice idea, I wish I was good enough to attend the first one in November but I am not by FAR! 🙂 Definitely following this and keeping the May camp in the back of my head. Cheers!

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