Saturday, November 26, 2011

Round 9 - Tough loss for JM

Hello all – Mr. Burke here again.

The 2011 World Youth Chess Championship is finished. In Round 9, John Michael lost in 3 hours 30 minutes to Tigran Poghosyan of Germany. John Michael took the defeat very hard – he wanted to win this game so badly. After the game, we took some time to decompress from a long and grueling tournament. We didn’t go over the game – John Michael needed a well-deserved break after that game was finished. It has been a mentally, emotionally and physically draining couple of weeks. After hanging out around the hotel, we attended the closing ceremonies, grabbed a late dinner and got back to the hotel room. Tomorrow we leave Caldas Novas at 12:00 PM (9:00 AM EST) to begin the long trek back to NJ. It has been a great two weeks, but we are looking forward to getting home.

I absolutely love John Michael’s fierce desire to win, competitiveness, and unshakeable belief that he is going to win every single time he sits down at the chess board, no matter who he is facing or how big the stakes are. It is those qualities that make him the champion he is, and those same qualities make losing so very hard to take for him. I know this experience has been great for him, and will serve him very well in the future.

9 Games
5 Wins
2 Draws
2 Losses
6 points out of 9
Tied for 4th place (official finish – 21st place out of 121)
383 moves
30 hours 15 minutes of game play
20+ hours of pre-game preparation/post game analysis

This tournament was a huge success for John Michael. The last round defeat will sting for a while, but when you look at the entire 9 game tournament as a whole, the tournament cannot be deemed as anything other than a great success for John Michael. He did a tremendous job!

I am going to remember so many things about this trip – the people we met, the sights we saw, the fun we had as a family. I will never forget the effort John Michael put into this tournament, and the great success he had in the pressure cooker of a World Championship event, battling it out with the best players in the world. He represented himself and his country excellently.

I couldn’t be prouder of John Michael – he is a great champion, an inspiration to me and many others. I love him very much.

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