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At The Kansas Open

Yes! We're at the Kansas Open in Overland Park. Stalkers and assorted cray-zee homeschool blog fans, you have a day and a half to find us and meet us in person at the Ramada Inn. lol EVERYONE who left a correct comment, I'll send you a postcard and a random guesser will get a small package. So, leave a comment on an old post or email happyelfhomeschool (at) gmail (dot) com.

Emperor was the youngest player last night in the quick tournament. Most of the players are adults. Poor guy lost every game.

It wouldn't be so bad if the few kids who were here were, you know, NICE. Or had nice parents. One mom screamed at her child in the middle of a practice game with Emperor about doing his checklist, why hasn't he practiced this afternoon, what did your chess coach say, look at your h-file bla bla bla queen out too early in the game. Whoo. I chalked it up to that individual family's rudeness until I met another family that wanted to introduce the child by USCF rating instead of... you know... his name.

What's odd is that the really superbly great players don't usually act quite like this. They are just sitting there, not showing off, and walk away with the plaque if you know what I mean. I sure don't mind Emperor losing; we knew this was an adult tournament going into it. I'm sad that the parents are behaving so boorishly. And yeah, when you let your kid laugh at other players, talk about how he's the highest rated bla whatever, and generally swagger about and roll eyes at the lower-rated players... it is beyond rude when you don't at least try to correct your child's behaviour. Kids are gonna be rude, plain and simple. We all have our moments. But wow.

I was chatting with one of the higher rated players and he said the scene I described sounded like something right out of Searching for Bobby Fischer. Well, it wasn't even as friendly as the pool scene in the movie. It's like every other kid is "the enemy" or something.

This morning one of the moms got on her kid and told him he had to eat protein only so he could do well in the tournament. Ok, so it's her kid but I'm sorry that this is his childhood, being trained like a chess show animal or something. Meh. I feel like such a slacker homeschool mom in comparison. And I don't mind being that way.

I tell you what: we're going to have a great day today and tomorrow. I think Emperor will be a stronger chess player for having gone, but that's not the sum total of his worth and value to me as a human being. He's getting to go off his diet to eat pizza for lunch. He'll be swimming (under close supervision) this afternoon. And he'll be watching Spongebob and playing his favourite game. Best vacation ever! :)


  1. Well, you know... sometimes I feel like I introduce my daughter by her diagnosis rather than you know her name.

    It is part of the reason I am not blogging as much about her diagnosis. I just don't want to be a trauma mama.

    I read an interview by Andre Agassi, besides admitting that his trademark tresses were fake, he owned up to the fact that he HATED tennis. I am sure that had nothing to do with being pushed by his parents to perform -- NOT.

    You are raising a child to love a game. Nothing wrong with that.

    I am not sure what is wrong with the other parents. Perhaps they are just idiots. :o)

  2. Oh, man...that sounds like a recipe for a neurotic kid!

  3. Yea!
    Have lots of fun.
    It's great experience for him.. And a nice vacation for you.

  4. I guess crazy chess parents can be put right up there with crazy pageant

  5. What Shelly said!!! I was just going to compare them to parents at dance competitions or little league. Ugh!

    For awhile I was taking my older newphew to soccer games, as my sister had to work on Saturday mornings. I ALWAYS made him go tell the other team good job - whether they won or lost. One day, his coach grabbed the back of his jersey and jerked him to the GROUND, and proceeded to yell at him about not talking to those "loser & cheaters"!!!! UN-BE-LIEVABLE. It lasted about0.3 seconds before Marine training took over and he found himself on the ground next to my nephew with his arm behind his back. Up til then, ALL the other parents allowed him to put his hands on thier kids! Ugh!

    People just take themselves WAY too seriously.

    Have a great time and enjoy yourselves. THAT is what he is going to remember the most. :)


    Steph & CHristopher

  6. I'm sure Emporor is haveing much more fun than the pressured kids. and that's how it should be. Childhood is fleeting enough as it is.

  7. Julie, I guess I didn't think much of discussing disability but giftedness seems like tooting horns. Introducing people by USCF rating rather than NAME just seems odd...

    Brains, I agree! :)

    Dad, we're having a great time! Emperor is watching Spongebob. :)

    Shelly, it's sad to see one of the parents GLARE at your kid... we're not the enemy... what's up with that... Emperor DOES NOT GET IT and continues to talk to her kid. I'm not saying anything. Because this kid is friendly to him and they are having a nice time... when she isn't yelling at him.

  8. Stephanie, are you SERIOUS??? What on earth did your sister say after that? What did the coach do? How about the other parents? This totally deserves a blog post... with pics if you have 'em.

    River, he is having a great time. He did have to be spoken to about SLOW DOWN and look at the board...I think it's fair if I'm spending $500 that he at least makes a good effort. Win or lose, I'm ok. But make a good effort. No yelling, but tell you what, I can't keep plunking money down like that unless you do, yk??


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