Lance finished 2nd overall at the Churriana chess tournament

This morning we traveled to Málaga to participate in the 2014 Churriana chess tournament. The event was actually divided into two tournaments—adults and kids. Both my kids chose to participate with me in the adult division.

After five rounds of six, my 10-year old son Lance was in first place—the only person in the tournament who had won all five games out of five.

While I started round six at table 14 with 2.5 points (two wins and a draw), Lance paired off with his rival at table 1. Half an hour later, when I finished my game (I lost), I looked up to see a huge crowd packed around table 1.

I ran over just in time to see Lance fighting it out, cool as a cucumber, in a fierce “final”—rook versus bishop. As the time on the clocks ran down, you could cut the tension with a knife—every move happening lighting-fast in the span of seconds.

Ultimately, Lance lost that final game (His ELO rating is 1,700 while his opponent’s was 2,100) but the crowd burst into a huge cheer as the little 10 year old finished the adult tournament in 2nd place overall.

Although my 12 year-old daughter hasn’t quite reached the level of my son—Lance finished 3rd overall at the Spanish National Championship last year—she’s been dramatically improving in her own right, finishing the tournament this morning in the equally impressive (for her) position of 7th overall.