Jason’s been on a tear this year with a series of successful performances in his chess tournaments. This past weekend, he took first place in the Under 2200 section of the Cherry Blossom Classic in northern Virginia. In the process, he boosted his USCF rating to 2203, marking a 123-point rise from the start of this calendar year and officially earning him his “master” status.
Jason had set himself a goal of reaching “master” by age 15, so this puts him almost a year ahead of schedule. It’s especially impressive to me given what’s involved with chess; namely, maintaining the focus and discipline required to play 5, 7 or even 9 games per tournament, any or all of which can last up to five hours each. That strikes me as a rare talent for a 14-year-old. Certainly it would’ve been for me at 14. It would be now. What’s more, he’s done it all pretty much on his own, aside from helpful input from some kind mentors; he’s never had a coach per se and living here in Richmond, his access to tournaments has been very limited.
Anyway, I’m very proud of his ability to set long term goals for himself and keep at them until they’re achieved. It bodes well for him in life. Next up is that BSA Eagle rank he’s been shooting for since his first Tiger Cub meeting at age 6. I have no doubt he’ll get there.