Sunday, December 14, 2008

2008 National K-12 Championship

We just finished the K-12 Nationals in Orlando Florida. Richie scored 5.0/7.0, tying for 2nd place on points and receiving 6th place on tie breaks (there was a cluster at 6.0 and a cluster at 5.0). Since the top 10 finishers received (very large) trophies, this was a very nice result. I have been emphasizing the importance of work so I was hoping that some concrete gains would reinforce this concept with the kids. Richie was so happy with his trophy. He was "a little" nervous going into the final day since he knew he needed to win both games after a slight upset loss on the 2nd day. He managed to pull it off, though. Congratulations, Richie!

Alyssa scored 2.5/7.0. The competitive bar is much higher for 2nd grade, so I was actually glad that she wasn't completely swept. Actually she managed a first round win versus a much higher rated opponent which really boosted her confidence. I think she has been improving by leaps and bounds recently and is now on par with Richie. Considering the gap between their play as recently as a few months ago this is pretty impressive. I guess there was just a small aspect of her play that changed which made a big impact.

Heading into the event, I had found that there were at least two 1000+ rated players in the Kindergarten section. There turned out to be one more that I missed because he was 6 yrs old already. All three of these strong players, Arun Khemani, Awonder Liang, and Zane Ice, finished tied for 1st place. Congratulations to them! We met Arun's father (Arun finshed 1st on tie breaks) in the skittles room. He recognized the kids from our blog and we had a nice chat. I expect we will see more from these young talents in the future.

We decided that it was too much distraction for Richie to keep game scores. I didn't see many Kindergarten players writing moves so this wasn't unusual. Unfortunately this means it's hard to really analyze what has been going on in his games. Alyssa kept all her scores and that will certainly lead to further insights into playing strengths and weaknesses.

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