Abe went to a chess camp last week. There were five groups in the camp based on ratings of campers. Abe was placed in the group 5—the strongest group. Abe also came to the same camp last year, he won the first place easily in his group— group 3 at the time (there were chess tournaments during the camp). Considering the much stronger opponents in the group this year and Abe’s recent slump, I hoped he’d stand a losing streak and learn more from those losses than wins, so he would learn more from this stronger group than last year’s group. However, I was a little worried that the lectures of the strongest group might be too advanced for him.
After the first day’s camp, upon picking him up, I asked him: “What were the topics for today?”
He replied with quite a few topics, which were way over my head, however, I still wanted to ask him in order to make sure Abe had not forgotten all he learned for the day.
“Can you understand the lectures or they are too hard for you?” I asked him.
“Yes, I can understand them, although I am not sure remembering them all.” He replied. I relieved a little bit.
“One of the teachers mentioned something that he said he would not tell to a lower rated player (or other groups), so group 5 teaches more than group 3.” He said. I was glad that Abe agreed with my assumption before the camp—you could learn more from the stronger group.
Abe was excited with the lectures after each day at the camp. Especially he thought it’d be cool using the chess databases as the teachers have them. They are expensive toys, but would be very helpful in chess study, especially on openings and endgames. I worried that since he need to stay on computer to use the chess database software, would he stay doing chess study or switching to computer video games quickly? Nowadays, Abe spent too much times on video games already. Therefore, I haven’t made my mind to purchase them yet.
Although I deliberately avoided asking how he did in his tournament, Abe was eager to tell me he could beat some much higher rated opponents if not his later blunders. Maybe Abe can remember those blunders and learn from those.
Friday came and went; the week long chess camp seemed so short.
Too bad, Abe could not go to a chess tournament the following weekend to practice what he just learned. We stayed at home on Saturday and went to a trip (a conference trip for Mommy, a vacation for the rest of us) on Sunday morning.