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  • James Neal

Making them Recognize your Greatness!

An interesting chess club in Denver Colorado...

I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a kid at a bi-monthly chess club I attend in Denver. My interest is observing talent but the host appreciates me being a mentor to his aspiring masters.


This specific kid happens to be a star in the club. Most of the players were beginners and amongst the other children, he was in a league of his own. The problem with acquiring power too quickly is that it tends to go to the head. This kid’s aura of conceit was palpable; so much so the host requested me to sit down with him for a talk.


I believe conceit, or bragging, to be extremely toxic. Kids have an overwhelming desire to be recognized and they tend to go about it the wrong way. This primitive method of recognition often garners hatred from their peers. It may even drive kids to make the conceited child fail.

My advice to him was encouragement. If he praised the efforts of his peers, it would encourage them to do the same. His focus would be on getting better and making those around him better. I would go even further to suggest the kid deflect praise. Deflecting praise to others makes you appear humble. When you are humble, you tend to get praise even when it is undeserved.



If only I could see the reactions of kid readers...


Anyways, what about the picture? It is white to play, who do you think is better?

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