My Chess.com Family
One of the things I love about chess.com is that everybody is like one big family. Let me introduce you to my family.
There is my protective big brother, IM David Pruess. David has always watched over me and made sure I am not getting bullied or being picked on (or people are saying mean things about me). David is also the one who introduced me to chess.com and helped me get signed up and helped me get to know all the ins and outs of everything. He is always telling me that he is there if I need anything just like a good big brother should be!
Then there is NM Michael Aigner who is like a second father to me. Michael has helped me keep positive during my bad tournaments and always gives positive comments on my blogs. He is great to talk to me and give me advice both at the tournaments and on chess.com. Michael is also my idol because of all the incredible things he is doing even with his disabilities. Whenever I feel like I can't do something, I think of Michael and know that he would tell me that I can.
Then there is my "pick on me" big brother, GM Josh Friedel. Josh banned me this morning from the chat on the broadcast about the World Championship game today for saying he is good at rhyming (to be exact I said: "Wow, Josh has another skill, rhyming!"). I actually think I got banned by him 2 or 3 times, can you believe it? Everyone needs a teasing big brother, don't they?
Also, I have my big brother (my opening coach) IM Sam Shankland. Sam is my "joke around with" brother. Sam always makes me feel like he is glad to have me around even though I am several years younger than he is. I think we were the only two to be banned from the chat this morning (until the end when Josh went on a banning fest and banned who knows how many people). Sam is the kind of brother that would probably get me into lots of trouble if I'm not careful .
I also have GM Melik Khachiyan who is like my chess father. Melik is my coach, but he doesn't just teach chess. He watches over me, makes sure I get enough rest before my next game, and is just generally there for me at the tournaments. He sits down and goes over what he knows about my opponent and how to beat them before my game . Melik is AWESOME.
Then there is my extended family on chess.com which includes so many friends, commentators, and many others who read and comment on my blog, and give me great advice from all over the world.
I would like to say thank you to all of you and since you are my family... I want to make sure you know: my birthday is this Thursday !!
Josh (my teaser brother), you said today that I was 12. You need to pay more attention to your family . This Thursday I will be turning 12 which means (among other things) that I will be moving up to the 12-year old list. I have been #1 on the 11-year old list for 4 months (the Feb. list and the April list). I will have one more shot at it before I turn 12 (the deadline for the June list is this week), and then I will be moving up. Further details: I am talking about the top 100 list for my age, if you want to see it go to http://main.uschess.org/component/option,com_top_players/Itemid,371/ and click on the age you want to see. It has been fun to be #1 in the country, but now I will just have to work my way up again!!
P.S. Make sure you watch the cable station TLC (channel 30) tomorrow night for the show, The Little Chocolatiers. I can't say much about it right now, but what I will say is that it will involve a 1,000 pound chocolate chess set and may be something "my family" will not want to miss !!