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We're Home!

Well, hello! We're home again. Emperor and I had a great time, though I must say we're pretty disappointed that Emperor was only able to get one win. I don't get it... he beat some of these children handily in the practice games, and then lost to them in the tournament. And by the end of the three day tournament, I was able to beat him in a couple games.

That, friends, should never happen. So I'm thinking he's just taken a good tailspin on this and needs to just keep on studying tactics and work on concentration, really, more than anything else.

I'm going to admit we're doing it all wrong.

See, there's this kid named "Matlock." The kid seems like a nice, likeable young man. He was playing some practice games with Emperor and we were having a nice time.

Were. Having a nice time.

The mom comes in and squawks at the kid about guarding his back rank. WHAT about the checklist your coach went over with you?? You need to bla bla bla and she was just tearing that kid up. It either inspired him or un-nerved Emperor because he later lost to this kid in the tournament, after having won two practice games.

Oh, well. I think the worst part was that Matlock and his little sister were so likeable and Emperor kept trying to play with them, show them his game system, and all that. The mom kept GLARING at us as though we were the enemy. Good grief.

Next morning, she didn't let her kid eat what he wanted for breakfast. Protein only. She even had him listening to music before the tournaments so that he would be prepared properly. Actually that isn't a bad idea... but... she's just a little more than a little controlling. I guess it's the spirit of the whole thing rather than the substance.

Please tell me I will never wind up like that. Though I sure did scold Emperor that he ought notate his game and THINK THROUGH EACH MOVE. He'd beaten a player with a 1400 rating, and he shouldn't be losing - in 13 moves and 15 minutes - to someone lower-ranked than him. Not when you have a an hour and fifty-five minutes on your clock.

I think we've come away from the tournament with a LOT of advice from some of the higher-rated players. Most of the advice? Emperor is talented, tactics are good, uses combinations well, but JUST isn't studying the board and thinking about what the other player is trying to do. And that is gonna get him.

We couldn't find ANY post cards in the hotel, and as I arrived by cab, didn't get any nearby. So, folks who guessed where we were earlier who want a post card and a chance at receiving a small package, please email your address to happyelfhomeschool (at) gmail (dot) com. I will select a package winner on Wednesday morning. :)


  1. OH... meant to say I will send a local post card from here. It's almost as exciting. :)

  2. Sounds like an interesting experience.
    Sometimes the excitement of the event ... meeting all kinds of new and interesting people sights and new sounds .. can throw anyone off their game. I can remember as a sophomore in college being ranked #2 at the Midwest Great Lakes fencing championship .. and promptly losing 8 straight matches against college foes I had easily beaten earlier in e year.
    I learned from that ... and beat a lot of them the next year.
    Anyway, it sounded like you both had a great outing and vacation!

  3. Thanks, Dad! There was a little boy there named Adam, very nice and his dad was with him. Emperor easily beat him in some tournaments earlier this year but Adam has a chess coach and etc. in the six months since we saw him last and it made a huuuuge difference in his playing.

    I have to admit it, I was jealous. Sweet child and nice family, but yeah, I was jealous that I can't afford a chess coach for my kid, too. Hoping we can find a reasonably inexpensive way to improve his game. I mean, the Russian folks have nothing but snow, vodka and chessboards and they kick our butts... so...

    And yes, we had a great time! :)

  4. Good grief! I've heard of stage moms - I've even known a few - but didn't know there was such a thing as a "chess mom!" I guess tiger moms are everywhere.;o)

    Glad you had fun together, and that he learned a lot. Sometimes we learn most from our losses!

  5. Maybe wee Elf was just getting tired?
    I hope he still enjoyed the Tournament.

  6. Whew... brought back my daughters pageant days. I am so glad she decided to give that up... the parents (most of them anyway)were ANNOYING! We could afford a coach, but couldn't get any to return our messages. I guess we didn't have the connections.


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