1st NA Amateur Closed

The 9-round 3-day tournament was held over the Thanksgiving weekend. The venue is clean and well lighted, all equipments are supplied—even the food and drink. So the plays just need to show up and play chess. A big feast of chess over Turkey Day weekend, how nice!

1st NA Amateur Closed was held at the North Shore Chess Center

1st NA Amateur Closed was held at the North Shore Chess Center

Abe was playing in the tournament, so were two other kids of his age. I bet they had a good time (which is very important to their interests in chess). The three kids are playing blitz between rounds:

Kids play blitz between rounds

Kids play blitz between rounds

Before the last round, I drove the kids to a nearby park, so they played soccer for a while:

Kids play soccer in a nearby park

Kids play soccer in a nearby park

By the way, one of  the purposes of this tournament is to help people get a FIDE rating and thus create more FIDE rated players in Chicago.

You can find more about this tournament from http://www.nachess.org/naca-news/2010/11/ and  http://www.facebook.com/ChessCenter.

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Like stars on earth — every child is special

Abe did fine in last weekend’s chess tournament: 2010 Illinois All Grade Championship, he won four games against four lower rated players, lost one game to a higher rated player. In the game he lost, a delicate endgame was reached and both players played well and determined, as some observers told me. The game was the last one finished in the section, I was sure that it was a good game; I hope Abe can learn a lot from it.

The next day, last Sunday, there was another chess tournament nearby in the afternoon, “Do you want to go?” I asked Abe. “It was up to you.”His mommy added.  Abe replied “No” the night before, “Yes” in the morning and then “No” again at the noon. I guessed that he was too tired and needed a break. Maybe we can stay at home and watch a movie together.

The DVD was borrowed from library last week.  It’s named “Like stars on earth — every child is special”. Since the movie was about a kid, his parents and one of his teachers, I thought, the whole family might enjoy it, probably, at Saturday night. Actually, we watched it at Sunday afternoon.

The movie lasted almost all the afternoon — it ran more than two and a half hours. In addition, there were some conversations in foreign language. I was surprised to find out Abe and I finished the whole movie, with some help of English subtitles. “It is a long movie, but very moving.” I said. Abe nodded. The story showed LOVE was the utmost force in discovering the talent of a seemingly retarded kid with “dyslexia”. I also got moved by some song like “Perseverance will bring the applause of the world” even you are misunderstood at the beginning.

After dinner, while Abe was playing Wii games, I asked him to do his homework.

“Wait, Daddy forced me to watch a movie all afternoon.” he must thought now Daddy should not force him to do another thing.

“But you don’t need to finish it if you don’t like it,” Mommy replied.

“I have to; it was such a heartbreaking movie.”

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The one benifit having kids playing chess

One chess parent told me he thought one of main benefits of having kids playing chess was the constant challenge to kids. The kids learn to deal with setbacks since they are in up and down all the time. I remember I heard more than once Abe told himself “I’d better win this one”, but he lost it; Abe murmured “How I could lose all the games”, but it was real.  The same challenge also applies to parents. The parents are constantly embarrassed with the high expectations for their kids. Although that expectation might come from the love of your kids and the passion of you to the game, it’ll put too much pressure to the kids and it is not healthy.

As Abe’s rating jumps and dives, I know that there are apparent weaknesses in his game, it needs time and experience to fix them. For example, as more than one person mentioned, Abe needs improve his endgames. But if not slowing down and not playing with strong opponents, as i understand, you might not have any experience playing the endgame. Abe slowed down a lot recently, and I prefer him to play with strong opponents, even most games results in losses.

In the past several tournaments, I said “good job” to him after each of Abe’ loses, he slowed down, put a good fight and I was happy for him.

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