Chess Olympiad for Preschoolers

by Anna Kohut
8/15/2023 – Recently the 3rd Chess Olympiad for Pre-school Children took place at the Faculty of Mining, Engineering and Industrial Automation of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Poland. Honorary patrons of the tournament were Arkadiusz Mężyk, Rector of the Silesian University of Technology, Franciszek Plewa, Dean of the Faculty, and Piotr Pyzik from the Ministry of State Property. The event was organised by the Hetman Gliwice Chess School, Anna Kohut, and in cooperation with the Faculty of the Silesian University of Technology. Anna Kohut prepared an illustrated report and a video of the event. | Photo: Anna with some of her preschooler-champions | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

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Pre-school Olympics 2023 in Gliwice (Poland)

Chess projects at the University are strongly supported by Professor Franciszek Plewa and Dr Aneta Grodzicka, PhD.

The tournament was attended by 150 children from pre-schools all over Poland. The children were divided into 6 age groups for girls and boys aged 5, 6 and 7. The children played 6 rounds of 10 minutes each.

The level of competition was very high and the current medallists of the Polish Championships came to Gliwice to play in the Olympiad!

Preparations for the tournament took two months. The whole event was made possible thanks to the financial support of many sponsors and partners.

Avantor Performance Materials Poland was the general sponsor of the Olympiad, Cnergy was the gold sponsor and Chessbase GmbH was the silver sponsor.

The tournament was also supported by local companies from Gliwice, including Technodruk, Keno Home, Techmedia, Zwaka Glass, IKL, Kolejkowo, Kostkev, Szamma Restaurant, Przyjaciele Uśmiechu Dental Clinic and Transmec Group.

During the tournament there were 40 volunteers. The referees who worked were specially selected to ensure that every child was comforted and left with a smile. This was crucial as there were both advanced players and children playing for the first time. The main referee of the competition was Michał Wejsig, a referee of international standing.

The prize money was 3000 Euro. All children received prizes, medals and gifts, and the total number of additional prizes was 76.

It was an exciting experience and will certainly be continued in the future.

There were 76 prizes in the tournament and children could win a prize up to 15th place. 150 children, divided into six age groups, took part in the competition. All children received medals, diplomas and gifts.

Vídeo of the Pre-School Chess Olympics

Industrial robot Fanuc-ER-4iA

Industrial robot Fanuc ER-4iA | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

The chess games were implemented using the open source owy chess game engine, implemented in student-developed proprietary software. This software, installed on a mini PC, calculates the moves of the pieces on the chessboard using artificial intelligence algorithms. The built HMI allows for the input of moves by a human player. The movements of the chess pieces, both those entered by the human player and those calculated by the computer, are carried out by a specially programmed robotic arm.

Opening ceremony

Opening ceremony preceded by a performance by children from the kindergarten. | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

An auditorium seating 340 people.

An auditorium seating 340 people. Parents with their children came from all over Poland. | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

Girls and boys were playing in separate groups

Pictured is the chief judge of the competition - Michal Wejsig - an international class judge. Round judges were assigned in each age group. | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

Preschoolers playing chess

The age groups were divided into girls and boys. | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

There were 40 volunteers helping out during the tournament!

Franciszek Plewa, Dean of the Faculty of Mining, Engineering and Industrial Automation at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. The professor is very involved in chess initiatives. | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

The youngest participants

The youngest participants were born in 2019 | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

Cups, medals, diplomas and Fritz & Chesster programs

Cups, medals, diplomas - so important for the children. Everything matched the orange colour of the Olympics. | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

A little girl with her diploma

It was very important for the children to be able to collect their prizes. The joy was great! | Photo: Magdalena Tomczyk

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For more information about Fritz & Chesster (Polish version) and children's chess in Poland contact Anna Kohut: "Fritz i Czesław" 

Anna Kohut, lives in Gliwice, Poland. Anna has been playing chess since she was 5 years old, but finished her career as a player at the age of 18. As a junior, she represented Poland at the European and World Championships. Anna has the title of Woman Candidate Master.