The Smartest Guy Ever and Pushy Parenting

Abe went to a chess tournament last Sunday afternoon. The tournament was great for him as he played with several strong opponents. Although the tournament last until evening, it’s no problem for us since we were no far away from home.

A chess tournament on a Sunday afternoon

A chess tournament on a Sunday afternoon

On the way back home, I believe, I heard an interesting story from the NPR, a public radio station. At first, I heard “Tiger Mother”. Oh, more on Pushy Parenting, I thought. Then I heard that this guy’s IQ was estimated to be 50 to 100 points higher than Albert Einstein’s. Then, this guy entered Harvard University at age 11 while being qualified for admission when he was nine. What a child prodigy!  If you are interested to hear the story, click here.

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No Resolution for this year

A year earlier, I made a New Year’s Resolution, but I did not achieve it. Upon looking back, I found that my resolution was so naive and silly. This year, instead of making a New Year’s Resolution of Abe’s chess improvement of x rating points increase, I found a better alternative — making no Resolution at all for this year.

Since Abe, based on a long term trend, is still on his improving stage, I do not want to put any additional pressure on his short term performance. It’s fine that he loses many games now in order to fix his weakness (such as the bad habit of playing too fast) and gain experience. It’s fine he keeps losing but keeps playing. I’d have a New Year’s Resolution if I can measure how much he increases his interest in chess and how much he slows down in his games, but I could not find any measurements. So I had to give up the thought of a New Year’s Resolution.

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One of the last

From last Tuesday to last Thursday, Abe played at the 2010 Pan American Open chess tournament. Since the playing site was only a little more than an hour’s drive away, I decided to drive each day instead of staying at an hotel there. The driving was not bad at all— on both ways each day, there was no snow, no traffic and Abe could take a nap. I was glad Abe could stay awake during the games. Luckily for me,  I could take a short nap during reading at the skittles room in the afternoon. It went like this, after the nap, I got up to check Abe’s game at the playing hall, the game was still not half way yet. So I could go back to skittles room to continue my reading. After a while, I would get up and check Abe’s game again. I, like many other chess parents, walked between the chess playing hall and the skittle room several times during a game.  It might be Abe’s preference for him to see me from time to time and helping him with small things such as pointing to the bathroom or pouring some water in his cup. In this tournament, maybe still adjusting the time difference of last vacation,  I achieved taking a nap in the skittles room for the first time.

Another first, I was surprised to find out, was Abe achieved being one of last few players finishing the last round. He played for more than four hours in the game. After two hours and a half, I told myself  that I should be happy with Abe’s effort no matter what’s the result. After the game, I thought: “In almost all of previous chess tournaments, Abe always use less then half of the allotted time. Today, I would guess he left the game with only minutes on his clock, and he finally was patient enough to be one of the last few players finishing the round.”

Abe was one of last few players to finish the last round at 2010 Pan America Open

Abe was one of last few players to finish the last round at 2010 Pan America Open

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