Abe said sorry after I expressed deep frustration at the Illinois Open. He said he would slow down in the next tournament. The next tournament would be about a week away. It’s a strong round robin event. I would like to see if he can keep his promise.
I was asked by the organizer the night before the tournament, if Abe could play the double round robin section— a little stronger than the single round robin section—due to some conflicts. My intention for the tournament was to see if Abe could play slow. A little stronger did not matter, or quite the opposite, maybe it’s a little better if Abe took opponents more seriously and hence slow down his games. I felt Abe has passed the stage that he would be very upset to his losses to stronger opponents. In fact, Abe performed better on those occasions. So “No problem.” I said.
The round robin tournament was held in a very nice hotel near our home. There were six people in Abe’s section, everyone plays with each of other opponents, so five games in a weekend, then switching color, five games in another weekend of next month.
Abe used more than half of times allocated (Game in 90 minutes if ignoring the time increments) in 4 of the 5 games. I was quite happy to his performance in general. He slowed down and took time to think. He scored 1.5 points out of 5. Considering his opponents are all higher rated than him, it is a fine performance. We even had a small celebration, not for winning or drawing his games, but for he played slowly. I told Abe “Hope it remind you to slow down.”
Today I heard that Vietnam top player Le Quang Liem (2694) lost to Botswana player Kheto Phemelo (2266) in the first round of Chess Olympiad. The reason that a 2200+ player could win over a 2700 player will be scrutinized by many. I think since anyone can make mistakes in chess, it is important be patient to take advantage of your opponent’s mistakes. “You could play better when you slow down.” as I told Abe many times.