What did you learn from this chess tournament

Last Weekend Abe and I went to Indianapolis to play the 2010 US Junior Chess Congress. It was the first time Abe played chess tournaments out of state,  his little brother: David and Mommy also came with us to show the support.

The tournament was well organized, such as paring sheets were always posted  twenty minutes before each round; the tournament was held in a nice hotel;  there was enough skittles space; and the top board games were broadcast in one skittles room.  Even my wife praised there were enough water and food without leaving the hotel—a big plus for chess parents:

Chess skittles roomOne chess skittles room
broadcast of top board chess games

Broadcast of top board chess games

It was always hard to pass time for little David in chess tournaments since he had to behave himself,  and got tired quickly playing the toys we brought along. Fortunately, the books brought by some chess parents looked enormously attractive, he asked Mommy to read every book for him:

David and Mommy are reading books

David and Mommy are reading books

There were six rounds of games in the tournament, four on Saturday, and two on Sunday. The time control of games at the first day was G/60, G/90 at the second day.

In order to let Abe have experience playing with strong opponents, I registered him in the Grade 12 section. I didn’t expect him to have a strong performance in his section, but hopefully he could learn something from his games.

In the first day, Abe won two opponents who were lower rated, he also lost two games. The first loss was the second round, his opponent was rated more than 1800 and went on winning the section;  his second loss was delivered by an opponent of 1700 in his fourth round, although Abe later said he had a chance and was up a pawn at some point. But in the end he made a blunder and lost the game. Here is the game:

After the four rounds, we went to a hotel about 15 minutes away. I had bidden the hotel on line. My previous experience of  bidding on line for two-and-a-half star hotels was great. I  knew this one was a two star hotel, I though it could be slightly worse than two-and-a-half star hotels  but still OK.  In fact, as we found out,  it was terrible: the strong wind blown out of the heater swept  me like a brush, the big noise of the refrigerator vibrated the room air like a tractor…Abe later complained his bed was too hard.

I managed to sleep since I was very tired after a long day but the sleep was not a good one, and I did not feel fresh the next day.

Anyway Abe won his first game against a lower rated player. After the game, he gladly told me he won the endgame. He said, “Previously, I won or lost games at middle games.”  Since he just started reading a chess end game book these days, I was happy for him if he could apply some of the teaching in his game. Here is the game:

Abe lost his final round to another 1800 player. The game was a long battle, when I finally saw him coming into the skittles room, he already told Mommy why he lost his game: “I had a stomach ache” and “it is too hot over there”. Here is the game:

On our way home, I half joked as I drove on the highway, “At least, we learned something from this tournament. Abe, next time, try not to have a stomach ache.”

“Yeah,” Abe replied. “If I want to pee, I should go to the bathroom right away.” I am surprised to hear Abe’s response to my apparently unreasonable request.

“I rushed, then panicked, and then lost the game,” Abe talked about his last game.

For me, next time, I should book a better hotel  to let Abe have a good night of sleep. At least a two-and-a-half star.


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