Trick or Treat!

I know it is a sweet day for kids. A lot of candies! Yeah! In addition, it is a sweet day for me too, not because of the candies I could share, but because of the expression “Trick or Treat!”.

Last winter break, Abe started to play in rated scholastic chess tournament. He and I watched the movie “Search for Bobby Fisher” together. I think in one of last scenes, Josh lost a queen in a chess game but he kept fighting on, you could see that his opponent was so delighted to have the big advantage and it seemed Josh would lose the match. But several steps later, Josh captured his opponent’s queen back. “Trick or Treat!” exclaimed Josh. He went on winning the game.

I do no know it was because of Josh’s tactic or fighting spirit, but to me “Trick or Treat!” is definitely associated with the sweet reward of fighting spirit. In chess games, no matter how far behind you are of your opponent, keep fighting on until you get the sweet treat.

Happy Halloween to every one! I am sure you have some sweet memory that you want to share with us.


Abe’s first adult chess tournament and his big upset

Abe went to his first adult chess tournament about six months ago. The time control was about 60 minutes, all of his previous scholastic tournaments were no more than 30 minutes. So I asked him to slow down and to think before moving. From the paring sheets, I found out almost all players are way higher rated than him. I thought to myself, it would be tough tournament for Abe.

It was indeed a tough tournament, although I was told that my son was a good fighter, both of his first two rounds (against players rated 800+ higher than him) were quick losses. After those rounds, he cried and asked to go home, he said every one was better than him. I forgot what I said exactly but I tried to be supportive and told him our only purpose of this tournament was to learn from the experience. He said that he could learn nothing and kept crying, however, he agreed to play the next round. The next round he faced a player rated about 500+ higher than him, I thought he did his best since it was a longer fight than any game of his previous tournaments. At last he drew his opponent. It gave him new confidence and he played the last round too. Although the last round was a loss, I was happy for Abe. Now days, he can frequently win or draw adult players with a couple of classes higher than him. Maybe Abe learned some thing from his first adult tournament.

So I am a support of “having scholastic player play in adult tournament”, however, you are likely to found a crying kid or a kid with big upset. Frankly, I do not know if I can handle this kind of condition right, although it happened to me a couple of times. What is you suggestion?


My son’s first chess book and the chess book he spent most time on so far

I bought my son the first chess book “Learn Chess Tactics” by John Nunn last Christmas, he like it very much. Then I bought him a second book by John Nunn
Understanding Chess Move by Move“. Now he seldom read the first book, but he kept reading the latter one every now and then even I tried to introduce him other books.

You might want check them out if your kids began playing chess and liked reading. Before you buy them, first check your local library to see if you can borrow for free. And you may want to make sure they are what you want. The latter book is relatively deeper in analysis but your kid might still like it.