“You could play better when you slow down.”

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.

The tournament was held in a well-lighted room in a nice hotel. I could watch Abe's games through the big windows

The tournament was held in a well-lighted room in a nice hotel. I could watch Abe's games through the big windows

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.

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2 Comments to ““You could play better when you slow down.””

  1. By chessnut, September 22, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    ChessDad, I’m sorry, but where did you get your info on Le vs. Kheto game? You might want to double check your source because it’s most certainly wrong. Le won as white and beat Kheto in 20 moves with 1hr 16min still on his clock. Here’s the link to the game: http://ugra-chess.com/liveboard?gameid=1001010271&ln=en&tmnt=1. A 500-point upset is almost unheard of at GM level, especially for Le. Le edged out Filipino GM Wesley So in 38 moves of the Slav at Florencio Campomanes Memorial Cup last month. This 19-year-old is playing his best chess ever. I’ll be quite shocked if the upset was true. He drew with Azerbaijan GM Mamedyarov (2756) in Rd 2 today.

    Best wishes to Abe!

  2. By TheChessDad, September 22, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

    Hi Chessnut,

    Thank you for pointing that out. It turned out that some thing was reported wrongly ( including: http://reports.chessdom.com/news-2010/olympiad/chess-olympiad-round-1-live) yesterday but the error was then fixed by the official site later.

    The games could be messed up by the players, but the results could be messed up by the organizers or media. Fortunately, it won’t for long.

    Thanks again.

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