Let's start with Justus. He's an impressive 5.5/7 in the World Youth, Boys 12 and Under, tied for 3rd-12th. There are 4 more rounds; you can follow the results here.
I played in the USCL last night, lost stupidly to Braden Bournival. I moved my queen five time in a row like a child. I'm also annoyed at myself for playing this bad pawn sac line, making semi random moves, and losing like I always do in it, especially after I had decided a long time ago to play a much better line that goes 7. Bf1 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9. g4 (I learned this from a chess lecture by David Vigorito, and during the game I could hear him saying "I play this myself for black, and it's good as long as white doesn't play h3 and g4 immediately, which is the secret to the position." I remembered that yet somehow I felt too chicken to play it.) 9... Bg6 10. d3 e6 11. Nh4 Nd7 12. Ng2, intending f4-f5 and Nf4. I also forgot he switched to the Sveshnikov years ago and spent half of Monday looking at the Panov. stupidstupidstupid.
Amazing how well New England did though. I'm very curious to see if they can keep it up in the post season.
School is great/ insanely busy. I met Jesper Hall, a chess teacher from Sweden and a member of a FIDE committee on chess and education, who was visiting NYC. We talked shop for a bit, and he showed me a great lesson that I've been loving:
White gets five moves in in a row to checkmate the black king. Black does not move at all. White cannot put the king in check before the last move. It's like a Coakley Double Whammy, but Quintiple. We do a couple examples together so kids know what solutions look like (e5, exf6, Ng5, Qh5, Qxh7 or Nh4-f5, Qg4xg6 xg7), and then they have 1/2 - 1 period, a partner, and a board to find as many other solutions as they can. With some classes, I said you have to find as many solutions as the hundreds place of your rating (a 1450 has to find 14), after you did that you could play. Everyone had a great time and learned mating patterns.
I have a new project/ experiment: I've picked a 6th grader (now rated 1093) and am going to see how high I can get him in a year. The program inclues: private lessons 2 lunch periods a week, extra tactics, making sure I see all his games, and always pairing him up in club. Any opinions on what constitutes success? Galvin's promised to buy me any chess book I want if he gets to 1600. I'm trying to get Galvin to pick his own kid to compete with me, but he's refusing because he knows he'll lose.
a cool video for you.