转发于微信公众号： WingChessAcademy 的一篇文章
Every Chess Journey is a Life Lesson
My trip to Las Vegas
6/22/18 ~ 6/24/18
I am almost entirely sure of this: whenever people go to Las Vegas, the first thing that comes across their minds is, “I gotta go gamble”… Well, that’s different with me.
I am a chess player. I go to Las Vegas forchess. If I have chess business, wherever I go, I am on focus mode. Because I have to ——– it is what I do , and what I chose to do.Nobody else chooses for me. I LOVE Chess.
我是一个国际象棋棋手，是为了参加比赛才去的拉斯维加斯。只要是与下棋有关的事，无论我身处何方，我会立刻进入一个全神贯注的状态。因为我必须这样 — 这是我正在做的事，是我自己的选择，而不是别人帮我做的决定。我爱国际象棋。
—— Cindy Lin
Chessis,overall,very beneficial. I play chess because I want to improve my skills,I want to improve my personality, I want to make friends, but most important ofall, I want to learn more about sportsmanship. Chess, after all, is a sport,and all sports require sportsmanship. Without words and actions of kindness,support, and encouragement, sports are no fun.
This year, I went on another one of my “chess journeys”, to another land of chess where people work their hardest to have sportsmanship, to have friends, and to have fun. This year’s Las VegasInternational Youth Chess Championships is a typical example. It is a memoryworthy to keep. Right now, I would like to tell you more about my experienceand some great lesson learned in a journal, which I wrote after my trip.
1:00 A.M. in the night
Thursday, 6/21/18 ~ Friday, 6/22/18
After a long 4-hour drive to Las Vegas, I was finally able to jump out of our car and stretch my tired body up. Even though exhausted, I was excited. I decided I would work hard the next day, or at leastmy hardest.
A quick, hot bath, and I was dressed up andready to sleep. I fell asleep soon as my head hit the pillow…
9:00 A.M. in the morning
First Day, First Race
A particularly good night’s sleep. I was not asexhausted as yesterday, and I was both excited and nervous to start thecompetition. Actually, I take that back. Chess is NOT a competition. Chess is abattle, a friendly battle between two players. Chess is the strategy of howwell you command you soldiers: your pawns, your knights, you bishops, yourrooks, your queens, and even your precious king. Anyways, it is not acompetition.
The day went by well. My first competitionstarted at 10:00 A.M., and I went in pretty nervous. Nevertheless, I was muchbetter after the round started, and obtained a great position towards the endof the match. Even though the kid (named Hayden Feinberg) had a rating of 304,he was fighting on. I liked that trait. (At that point, my rating was 661, andI was in the Under 700 section.) I fought my way through the contest againstsome other kids as well, winning all my games until round 4 (of 5).
Before the round, I was determined to winagain. I had won three games in a row. I will probably win a trophy (although Ilater learned that was not the whole point of the competition) if I worked hard enough.
His name is Addison Fort, and he was looking determine as well, embracing himself to fight me. Of course, I was doing just the same. Then it all started.It was a fair match, with both players calculating hard, trying to sneak a move in here and there, hoping their opponents would not see it, hoping to win with a single move.
But “hoping”, I learned, doesn’t work. Hoping your opponents won’t catch it: it’s a fifty-fifty chance. It’s gambling, rightthere in Las Vegas, where people gamble. The only difference is, it’s chessgamble. But whatever it is, gambling is horrible. People lose their money,their house, their everything, by gambling. The thing we were losing here in achess championship was our tactical skills. Hoping your opponents didn’t seesomething, means that you spend your timing hoping, instead of searching fortactics. In games where players are rated 1600 or higher, you can’t just… hope.They don’t blunder any more. You look for something, a series of moves,perhaps, that they have no chance against, and even if they see it, well,they’re going to lose anyways. That’s what tactics are.
As in for my game, I knew I had little chance because I was “hoping”. Of course, he caught every little move I made. He defended and attacked, and I defended and attacked. In the endgame, all we both had were our kings, one rook each, and a pawn each.
Both of our hopes were to promote our pawns asquickly as possible, but our pawns were right next to each other in the files.When the pawns meet, they’ll capture each other. I finally found a tactic, a pin, against him. I was going to win his pawn! He asked for a draw. Obviously,I answered, “I decline.” So, quickly, he moved, and so did I. But my move was ablunder. He used my pin against myself, and I lost my rook. I bit my lips. My head was whirling, repeating the words, “I’m going to lose, I’m going to lose.”Then, suddenly, I was mad at myself: I should have tied!
And so I lost round 4. Round five, they pairedme with a tall boy, probably a few years older than me. He had a rating of 480.I beat him, and when I left, I heard his mother say, “What, you lost ?! How???She’s…” She pointed at me. I looked away.So, another lesson learned and will also be used by me. “Don’t judge someone by their looks.” I was satisfied.
I ended up getting 3rd place out of 47 people. Good, but not good enough. AddisonFort came in first place. I knew if I drawed with him, it might have beenbetter —– or worse. I never knew what would happen if something wentdifferent in that one game.
9:00 A.M. in the morning
When the IMPOSSIBLE becomes IM possible
In the Under 14 age group Reserved (a ratingof under 1000), I was 661. My opponent, Isaac Chang, had a rating of 945, which was pretty good. My dad kept telling me, “Why do you care what his rating is?Look for really good players to compete against, not people worse than you!”
在U14 Reserve组，国际青少年冠军赛的第一轮，我的等级分是661，而我的对手IsaacChang是945，相当得高。爸爸一直对我说，“你为什么要在意他的等级分？你要找强手去锻炼，而不是水平比你低的! ”
My response was always, “I’d lose” or “they’renot that bad.” My dad said, “I don’t care about your score, the only thing Icare about is if you improved. If you give a really hard time winning you, evenif he wins, you improved.”
Mom, who was always mad when I lose a game,changed her opinion, too. She agreed with my dad, and said, “Yeah, just improve.” Then she continued, “These kids are good, you can’t beat them.”
So I went in, all trembling. I shook hands torepresent sportsmanship, then we started. This round, I found another tactic,and I won a pawn. It was a very close game, but I promoted before Isaac, and I checkmated him. My parents were really happy and couldn’t believe I won. But I could hardly believe it myself：it would all have seemed impossible the day before, but today, it was nothing.
I won my second game to a 900 something aswell, and was, again, satisfied. Then, for my third game, I tied to Luke Strule,968, one of the highest-rated players in the section. That was good, as well.Although… I had no idea why Luke would offer draw, since I was down two points.But I had nothing to say since the draw benefitted me.
I got a quick break before I went off for the puzzle contest, and right afterthat, the Grandmaster Simul with GM Sabina Foisor lasted until ten in the evening, and after a quickdinner, I was back in our hotel room, fast asleep. I was totally ready for the last day, and for my possible trophy.
短暂休息之后，我就参加了解题大赛。之后，是特级大师GM Sabina Foisor的车轮赛，到夜里十点才结束。我飞快地吃了晚餐，回到房间里，很快就睡着了。我已经准备好啦，迎接最后一个比赛日，也迎接我可能会赢得的奖杯。
9:00 A.M. in the morning
“Hard work pays off”
For my first game in the last day, I was fighting so hard. The way I won it, it was actually a “hope”. My opponent,Swapnil Katikaneni (862) didn’t see the checkmate, and thought I just wanted his pawn. Anyways, that’s not the main part. The important thing here was the kindness his mother showed. We’ll talk about that later. Anyways, I tied to two people better than me for the last two rounds, and thought I was able to get atrophy, so I stayed.
最后一天的第一局比赛，我拼得很辛苦。取胜的方式，实际上是一个“期望”。我的对手，Swapnil Katikaneni (等级分862)以为我只是在进攻他的兵，没有看到我准备杀棋。无论如何，这不是关键的。重要的是，他的妈妈所释放的善意，我后面会提到。之后是最后的两轮，我都和高分选手和棋了，然后猜想自己可能可以获得一个奖杯，就留在了赛场。
Just before trophies, Swapnil’s family came to our family in a bar in the hotel. His mother was smiling as she approached us.The rest of the family: Swapnil, his brother, and their father, dropped back tolet his mother speak.
“Hi,”she said to me, “my son played you, didn’t he? You were very good! How manypoints do you have now?” “嘿，”她说，“我儿子有一轮和你对阵，对吗？你非常棒！现在总分多少
“4.5,” I answered. “4.5，”我回答她。
“Congratulations! Are you waiting for atrophy?” “祝贺你！你在等颁奖吗？”
“Well, congrats! Have a good time.” “再次祝贺！祝你快乐！”
“Thank you.” “谢谢。”
Afterwards, I thought it was very nice of her to do so, and I decided that she was the bravest person I encountered at the Las Vegas festival. Even though her son lost to me, she was kind to step up and congratulate me. It was the deepest memory I had of this chess festival.
After getting my fifth place trophy (out of 71people), we left. I was still thinking about the most important thing about chess. GM Sabina’s words popped into my mind. “Chess is a long, hard, journey,”I remember her saying, eyes shiny and watering, “you have to fight hard to succeed. But on the way, you make friends, have fun, and everything is worth it. Boys, don’t be mean to the girls. Girls, don’t be afraid of the boys. One of the most important things about chess is: when you end a game of chess,everyone becomes friends, and there are no more battles.”
Yes, of course. I thought more about my threeshort days spent in Las Vegas. Three days of my life. It was easy to fit intoLas Vegas, to talk like Vegans, to eat like Vegans, to laugh like Vegans, andto taste their style. It was all a piece a cake, but on top of that, masteringthe art of chess is not. There are challenges you have to overcome on the climb to the top of the mountain, where all the GM are. But if you work hard enough,you’re bound to be friends with every single piece on the board.
KEEP PLAYING CHESS, FOR YOU ALL CAN SUCCEED!
I am very pleased with my results in the 2018 International Youth Chess Championships. My rating jumped from 661 to 1003, but without the care from certain people, all this would have been impossible.
I would like to give some acknowledgement to all the encouragingpeople that helped me succeed in this year’s Las Vegas Chess Festival.
Jason 老师 worked so hard to go over games and help the kids who arecompeting in the tournament. He was very kind to spend all his time outside thetournament room, instructing all the Wing Chess players, and giving up time toeven eat. Thank you, Coach Jason, for encouraging me before my last round, instructing me to think efficiently, and to not waste time.
Harlin老师， thank you for being my chess teacher and spending time and hardwork on my success!
Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, foraccompanying me and supporting me throughout the tournament.
Thank you, fellow Wing Chess players, for learning the wonderful art of chess with me!!!