LINDSBORG — The spirit of chess will be seen throughout Lindsborg through the annual Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess camp, located at 106. S. Main St. in Lindsborg, which is held every year from July 15 until July 20.

Grandmaster Timur Gareyev, will be coaching students from all over the country how to master the game of chess.

Gareyev is currently listed in the 2017 Guinness Book of World Records as the record holder for playing 48 games of blindfold chess simultaneously.

“We will work on a whole range of abilities in chess. Chess is not as necessarily well structured as one would want to think in terms of mathematics. Steps to learning chess are a little more versatile. Each one of the players has their own strength and weakness, so it’s important to focus in and target those individually so it helps the players with parts of the game and components they need to focus on,” Gareyev explained. Gareyev has been coaching the camp for around four years now and said he loves to teach students some of the best games that have ever been played.

“I demonstrate the moves on the chess board so they can follow, learn from it and ask questions,” Gareyev noted.

Those attending range in a variety of ages and offer different skill levels.

“The youngest we have this year is nine and the oldest is 69, he’s coming with his grandson they both play chess. The youngest we’ve ever had was a six-year-old from Canada,” said Marck Cobb, a former president of the International Chess of Institute of the Midwest.

However, Cobb noted the camp only allows 30 participants.

“We actually had to turn people away this year. After the economy dropped in 2008, we’re finally back up at a good spot and are getting more and more participants,” Cobb added.

The camp stays traditional each year with students playing simultaneous chess games, competing in tournaments, having instructors analyze their games and learning new strategies.

However, the campers do get a break for time to have fun.

“We keep them very active where they can go swimming, play other games and more. They’re very tired by the end of the days,” said Anna James, executive director of the camp.

Those attending the camp will have the opportunity to stay on the Bethany College Campus in the dormitories.

“It’s a nice way to get them exposed to Bethany College. It’s a special thing to the younger ones,” Cobb said.

James said that there are six girls attending the camp this year.

“We’ve never had so many girls. That’s the really special feature this year,” James noted.

Along with the camp, there are chess tournaments going on around Lindsborg as well.

“I think that’s definitely an incentive to boost their strength in their game of chess,” Gareyev said.

Cobb believes chess is a great way to teach the young, and old, the skills needed in everyday life.

“It teaches them all the fundamentals of life. It keeps them focused, it teaches them to be patient to sit there the whole time, they have to be thinking ahead and multi tasking, it’s just a great thing for someone to be involved in,” Cobb said.

Chess is a sport that anyone can become involved in at any time.

“People always ask me, ‘What’s a good age to start playing chess?’ I always say, ‘Whenever,’” Gareyev said. 

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.