The virtue of game analyses

From the handouts of several Abe’s recent summer chess camps, I saw more than once: “It is absolutely necessary to analyze of your game”. I guess there are two ways to analyze the game— do it yourself or with other people.

When you do it yourself, some assistance, mostly computer software, is needed to point out what is wrong in your game. I have some chess computer software, but Abe does not bother to play with it. So often it is I doing the game analysis, and then Abe is asked to have a look at the results – which I do not think it is productive. Moreover, I was told not to put too much faith in the computer analysis, since it is mainly good at tactics, bad at positional chess.

I always want Abe to analyze his game with a strong opponent or a master on site at tournaments. But most of the time Abe would not do that, he would rather to play with some other little kids on bughouse, video games or others. It made me angry sometimes, but I could not find a better way other than let it be after several failed attempts to ask him to do others.

Game analyses, I think, still was very important to the past several better performances Abe had in chess. The teacher of the scholastic chess club Abe often went took the extra steps analyzing several his games, either to the whole class or to him semi-individually. Not only it increased Abe’s knowledge in chess, but also it boosted his confidence – very important in chess; Abe also fortunately have one hour’s private lesson with a GM this February because of Abe’s good luck in a raffle last year at the National Youth Action. The grandmaster told him to start to learn some endgames and play more often with strong opponents, those advices had been my guidance for selecting Abe’s chess books and chess tournaments.

Being weaker than Abe in chess from the very beginning, I can only offer my advice to him to slow down (or take his time) in every tournament so far. It is my hope that a private coach could help him analyze his game and pointing out his weakness, not in a too general term like my “to slow down”. Two days ago, he had his first lesson with the coach, and he felt very good about it. So did I.

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Three parties in a day

Abe went to three parties last Saturday. We went to two— the second one of his was a birthday party, we just needed to drop him off. So we left the first one early in order to make his second one, during the same time, we went to shopping to prepare the third one.

The first party was at the rooftop of a high-rise building

The first party was at the rooftop of a high-rise building

The third party was at the beach

The third party was at the beach

We left home at morning, came back, all exhausted, at late evening, the kids were still excited at the end. It seemed they could still play more. Apparently, they had a good time.

Summer is running out. The starting of a new school year is just around the corner, so is the new chess season. Let’s plan for them, after today.

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Abe’s chess journey in the past four months: a ride on a roller coaster

Abe’s played in a chess tournament last Saturday, won the second place.

Since the entry fee’s only five dollars, we didn’t expect any prizes. However, in the end, we were told that the park district had prepared some gifts for the winners.  Several of the top performers, including Abe, got surprise prizes. How nice!

Here Abe is playing chess. David, his little brother and Mommy also came along with him, they are at the farmers’ market nearby.

Abe is playing chess

Abe is playing chess

David and Mommy are at farmers' market nearby

David and Mommy are at farmers' market nearby

Abe’s post event rating is 1700, as he guessed during the tournament. Although chess ratings should not be overly concerned, Abe’s rocky journey in terms of  rating changes  in the past four months is still of interest to me. In April, over a span of two weeks,  he unexpectedly shot up his rating from 1515 to 1720. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, his rating took a dive in the following two months to a 1554 . Then he spent the past month climbing back to 1700.

Abe played quite some tournaments recently, even during his valley.  I think that more tournaments might accelerate his dive, and also accelerate the happening of his coming back. Anyway, it is summer, Abe has time playing more tournaments.

More ups and downs are waiting ahead.  Get ready, it’s a fun ride.

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