My son played in another tournament last Saturday taking a step up in the standard and playing with clocks for the first time. Things started well enough as he romped to 3/4 but then he lost the next two to go to 3/6. At this point he was looking a bit glum so I geed him up a bit by saying it would make a big difference to his result if he could win (plus score instead of minus). I don’t know if this had a positive influence but he showed a lot of character in applying himself to this final game and did indeed reach 4/7.

Once again old fashioned values seem critical for such aspects of the game and I believe that they can be reverse engineered through the chess experience and then applied to life. If I’m right on this then chess becomes a fantastic tool for personality development in the young. And chess has the great advantage of doing so within a safe environment.

Since the tournament we’ve been going through more of du Mont’s 200 Miniature Games of Chess with the usual storyline of misbehaving Black pawns. And he’s set his own very sensible goal of winning this level of tournament before moving up again.