It is hard to believe that our sojourn here is almost finished. While we are certainly home sick (Zoe more so than the rest), it will also feel a little odd to pack up and go. In some ways, I feel I am just beginning to settle in and get used to the routine — get up for coaching, visit the cafeteria, prepare for the round, then the waiting while Drew plays, and finally the rest and recreation that come in the evenings after game analysis is done.
It may be a little difficult to re-enter “regular” life. But we know one of the first things on the list is a visit to Chick-Fil-A.
Drew’s match with fellow K1 Co-Champion Chinguun Bayaraa played into a Sicilian Najdorf which can be a very tricky opening. Drew played well through the opening, but he lost sight of his opponent’s possibilities and fell prey to attacks in the middle game. After a series of bad moves leading to a knight fork of his king and queen, Drew resigned the game.
Link to round 10 game:
On exiting the tournament hall, Drew and Chinguun came together to give me the news. Drew was obviously upset and Chinguun reported that Drew played a strong opening but lost after blundering his knight. Chinguun then promptly asked if he could join Drew for football again this evening after analysis and dinner! It took Drew a little while to recover from the loss, but he was glad to join his new friend in a different type of competition and even let his sister play as well. On the “football field,” it was Drew vs. Chinguun and Zoe. Since neither Zoe nor Chinguun could catch the ball or out run Drew, they lost to the one man team.
Tomorrow will be round 11, the final round of the 2013 World Youth Chess Championship. Drew will face an opponent from China who also has 4.5 points, hoping to end the tournament with a win for an even score of 5.5 out of 11. But win, lose, or draw, each tournament and each match provide opportunities for growth. We will leave here with the memories of new experiences, friendships forged through the shared love of chess (and football, and foosball), an appreciation of home, and many, many pictures.