Chess without borders

by Marco Baldauf
8/29/2017 – "Schach ohne Grenzen" ("Chess without limits" or "Chess without borders") is the confident name and motto of a young club from Kufstein/Tyrol in Austria. The club wants to promote chess in general and junior chess in particular. This summer the club organised its fifth "Chess and Adventure Camp". Almost 90 kids took part. | Photo: "Schach ohne Grenzen"

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Children's chess adventure in Tyrol

Tyrol is the third-largest state in Austria, by land-area, with a populations approaching 750,000. The capital, Innsbruck, is known for its university, and the region is popular for its famous ski resorts.

Originally, Schach ohne Grenzen ("Chess without borders") wanted to organize a single chess holiday camp, but now after five years in operation, there's no end in sight. The organizers even offered two camps this year, in response to high demand. And the dates for the next year are already being planned.

"Last summer 60 children took part. At a certain point you simply lose track with such numbers. And that is why we wanted to organize smaller camps again, but two of them", said main organizer, Ina Anker.

47 chess enthusiasts | Photos: Schach ohne Grenzen

The two camps hosted 40 and 47 children respectively this year, for five days of chess training and related activities, like "fitness blitz", Bughouse, team blitz and normal chess training of up to three hours per day.

Fitness blitz requires speed and a cool head

The children were divided into seven training groups which had six to eight members. The training comprised very basic methods such as mating the enemy king with queen and king but also offered more demanding tasks.

The optional evening course "Solving Studies" turned out to be quite attractive


The stronger players had to solve this study without moving the pieces on the board, the weaker study enthusiasts could move the pieces on the board. Finally, they also found the solution.

However, most of the children were very keen for the "Adventure" part of the camp: "But it is called a chess and adventure camp..." I was reprimanded by one of my students when I was mad enough to offer training again in the evening. Soccer, table football, table tennis and the card game "Werewolf" were the most popular alternatives.

Table tennis in attractive surroundings

However, despite all these activities the children still liked playing blitz the best — which made me happy.

Blitz even during a break in the football tournament (above), and during an excursion to the lake (below)

About the club "Schach ohne Grenzen"

"Schach ohne Grenzen" is a transregional chess club based in Kufstein, Tyrol, Austria. It was founded in 2012. The club aims to promote chess as a mind sport in educational institutions and clubs, and to make people of all ages and social backgrounds enthusiastic about the game! The founder Günther Wachinger is a FIDE Master who plays in Germany's second league, and who has decades of experience as trainer for the Bavarian and German Youth Chess Federation. He has won so many titles as youth trainer on German Championships and for his home club Pang/Rosenheim that he stopped counting the exact number.

"Schach ohne Grenzen" offers chess courses and training for children and adults, promotes scholastic chess, and once a year the club organizes a "Chess and Adventure Camp" for children and juniors. The club also regularly offers chess workshops in youth centers. The women's team of "Schach ohne Grenzen" plays in the Austrian Women's Bundesliga and the men's team plays on regional level in Tyrol.

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer


Marco Baldauf, born 1990, has been playing since he was eight. In 2000 and 2002 he became German Junior Champion, in 2014 he became International Master. He plays for SF Berlin in the Bundesliga.


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