I love watching kids competitions. The Food channel’s Jr Chef, Gymnastics, Child Genius’, Project Runway Jr., We have 15 year old children running million dollar companies etc. The one thread they have in common is that the kids are serious about their craft. You can tell that they study, read, and know the accomplishments of the people in their field! They have become cultured competitors at a very young age! One child summed it up really well. She was asked, “Why do you want to win so bad? She said, “This isn’t a practice, this is a competition! The point of being in a competition is to win!!”
Are you going to this year’s scholastic championships? Are you going there to win or to play? These are the best kids in the commonwealth and they’ve been competing against superior adult and kid players all over the country to get the ratings they have. The top rated person in the k-8 will be over 2000. Our 13 year old State Champion will probably play in the k-12. Her rating is 2306. If you come to this tournament to play for fun or gain experience, you are missing the point.
I’m going to let you in on a secret that all great performers know. Performance enhancing experience is gained at home, not at competitions. Think about it, all great performers are trying to duplicate what they’ve done in practice, not what they’ve done in other performances. Performances are subject to conditions, practice is not!! Practice doesn’t make perfect, Perfect practice makes perfect! Knowledge isn’t power, Knowledge in action is power. When it comes to Chess, you want to come home with a prize. If all you come home with is experience, then you got the same consolation prize as everyone else!
Knowing the 4 knights isn’t going to be good enough. Seeing 3 moves ahead will not be good enough. Think your child is ready, ask them to give you a written answer to the following puzzles. Puzzles 1,2,4,5 are white to play and win. Puzzle 3 is black to play and win.
If you couldn’t solve any of these, don’t feel bad. You still have 8 weeks. Get some training! Come by the library, it’s free! Get some lessons, their reasonable! In Chess, it’s not whether you win or lose, it whether you were prepared or not!!
Championships are about Trophies and bragging rights. You are at a disadvantage if you think they are about ratings or anything else. To quote one of the other kids I watched, they said, “These kids are crazy, this is no time to be playing games!?”. Don’t like what I’m saying, show this blog to a winner and see what they say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1?!
Visit our scholastic championship page to find out the 5 common mistakes scholastic players make!