That’s what I told Abe before the tournament last Saturday. It worked this time. Abe drew with a Master in the first round. After the game I congratulate him by saying “Good job. I was especially happy for you since you fought until the last second.” He literally had one second left on his clock after the draw was agreed upon by both players. If not the time delay, Abe would lose on time, even on a theoretical drawn position.
So Abe was very excited. He gladly promised to take a ten-minute walk together outside after next round — We did not have time to take a walk right now since next round would begin in fifteen minutes.
It’s cloudy as we found after stepping outside the chess playing room, but still it’s Spring time. The air’s fresh and grass green. Noticing not far in front, a goose strolling leisurely across the side walk, wagging his tail behind him, Abe said: “Maybe he is lost.”
“Lucky for him, at least he is outside.” I replied, even not sure what I meant.
Last week, we drove to Columbus, Ohio for the 2011 National Junior High Championship. Abe played in the K-8 section and got a small trophy for tying with 20th place. He felt he was lucky with his parings as he got four points from much lower rated players and two losses were against much higher rated players. He found he missed his winning moves in one of the two losses upon re-reading his score book today. So he was not exceptional lucky all the way. “Maybe you played too quick to find the right moves?” I asked him.
One thing he’s improved, as I saw in the last two tournaments, is his concentration level. He probably learned his lessons from several of his recent very bad tournament performances. I asked him taking a shower and a nap in his hotel room between the rounds. We used to go back our hotel room watching sports news on TV. I thought the new change should help him at a higher concentration level during the games. In addition, our hotel room was about one mile away from the tournament site, we have walked back to hotel twice. Being able to walk outside in Spring helped Abe having a good mood and being lucky.
We had a good time, so are many others, I believe. In the chess playing hall, one thousand kids competing under one roof!
About one thousand kids playing at the 2011 National Junior High Championship