Abe’s soccer game

Last Sunday, the temperature reached 89 °F (32 °C) — very hot considering it was only 63 °F (17 °C) a week ago. Abe’s soccer game was in early afternoon. It would be quite a challenger for the kids to play under the sun in such a hot day.

He was supposed to arrive the field twenty minutes earlier to take the team photo. Upon arriving the field, we found out that another game was going on. Maybe those kids were playing the last quarter, only a couple of them were still running, the others were just standing— only run a few steps if the ball getting close to their feet. It was too hot!

I posted a picture and some video I took below; I didn’t record the whole game; it was too hot even for standing along the side line of the field. By the way, Abe scored one goal, played the goal keeper at the fourth quarter, and got exhausted. His teammates were exhausted too. Though they lost to their opponent, it was a good game and every one had a good time.

team picture before the soccer game

team picture before the soccer game


The worst day in a chess tournament

Last Saturday, Abe had the worst performance in any chess tournaments—lost all four rounds, scored zero point in the end.

Before the tournament, he said to me, as usual, “I do not want to go. Do we have to go?”

We did not have other engagements on the Saturday. He might just fool around— watching TV and playing video games—to pass the day if not going to the chess tournament. “Yes,” I replied.

His first opponent was rated closed to 1900, about 200 points higher rated than Abe. In addition, Abe’s playing black with a slight disadvantage. I thought he would lose his game, which was confirmed later: Upon seeing me at the skittles room, Abe said, “I lost.”

Abe’s playing white in the second round, his opponent are a little higher rated than him; I thought Abe might have a chance. In deed, Abe had chances in his game, but he missed the opponent’s attack (count-attack?), he lost again.

After the loss, Abe asked me: “Can I withdraw from the tournament? I do not want to play any more.”

I knew he didn’t want to lose again; I told him that he would learn more in defeat than in victory, “Remember winning by losing?” I asked. “Although you have to lose at first, you will win later by learning from the losses.”

I was surprised to find out that Abe was playing white again in round 3, however, he lost anyway. Abe was quite upset after that loss; He insisted again to exit the final round. I told him, “We have even number of players in your section now, if you do not play, some one else will lose the chance to play too.” And with some of his friends’ encouragements, he reluctantly agreed to play the final round, unfortunately, he lost again.

On the way home, Abe was not that upset any more. “How did I lose all my games?” he said to himself. He might think it was unbelievable. I quickly told him it was OK. In the meantime, I thought to my self:

Maybe last night, Abe did not have a good sleep. Maybe he, in inferior conditions, failed to take time to think a counter attack. Maybe he was too inclined to trade pieces with opponents, while failing to take time to check it’s good or bad. Maybe…

I had no confidence with any above guesses. One thing, however, became clearer to me as I thought: Abe should continue to play against the strong opponents.

If you or your kids have a very bad chess tournament, what should you do then?


Rounds of games and time in between

Last Saturday, Abe and I went to a chess tournament. Abe did so-so if not poorly in the tournament. He lost one, drew one, and won two, all to lower rated opponents.

chess, JJC

The playing hall is almost full

Of course, there were still some thing good about the tournament. It’s not, however, the chess games themselves; it is the time in between the rounds.

In one break between chess games, Abe and I played a while of football outside of the building. The air was fresh and the sky was blue; there were forests and a creek nearby. Getting used to the crowded city life, I felt coming here was just like a nice retreat— we should definitely come back for late tournaments held in the same facility. After some running, throwing and catching the ball, Abe must have made a lot of deep breaths; it refreshed him for the next game. In addition, without it, Abe would, again and again, complain to me: “I am bored; I should bring my DS with me.”

In another break, some gentleman whom I just got acquainted with helped Abe analyzed the lost game.  He pointed out several blunders Abe made and explained why. I thought his explanation was very engaging and convincing; Abe later told me he was very good.  The gentleman told me:

“Abe might win me over the board, but adult like me has deeper understanding of chess than him.”

Indeed, he was right.  If Abe started finding analyzing game with others was good instead of walking away while acclaiming “I know where I blundered.”  I think he gained something important, more important than just some rating points, from this tournament.