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?