My First Chess Tournament

In school, we had to write a small moment narrative about ourselves. So, I chose the first time I went to a chess tournament. Here’s what I wrote:

I was at Laurel Mountain Elementary, playing my first chess tournament. It was a sunny day, perfect for a contest. At the time, I was six. My dadaji (grandpa) had originally taught me how to play, and my dad had helped me get better. Back then, I had a coach named Coach Paul. He was a great instructor.

Anyway, so I was playing my first real competition, and I had won my first three games using a simple technique called, “Scholar’s Mate”. It was commonly known, but thankfully, my opponents had never heard of it and were utterly flabbergasted when I checkmated them in only 4 moves. Emboldened by my easy success, I attempted the trick on my 4th and 5th opponents.  Unfortunately, during my 4th game, my opponent was smarter than I thought, and he deflected my attack. Thankfully, with a lucky save, I managed to annihilate my enemy. However, during my last game, disaster struck. I was a bit overconfident. I was sure I could beat my enemy as I had destroyed my earlier opponents. However, she immediately blocked my attack and started her own. Trying to stay calm, I played a move, and before I knew it, she had me checkmated. I was shaking her hand, saying, “Good game,” and, “You played well,” as I tried not to cry.  I noticed there was a thunderstorm brewing.

Everything was a blur after that. However, my dad cheered me up.
He claimed that I did great for my first tournament.
He said that he was very proud of me.
He told me he would take me to Taco Bell after the award ceremony.

“Thanks!” I hugged him fiercely. Taco Bell was, and still is, my favorite restaurant on the face of the planet. My dad saw me cheer up. 

“I knew that would make you happy!” he teased. “Come on, the award ceremony should be starting any minute now! I’m sure you won a trophy!” 

Grinning, I thought, “Trophy or not, I would have a feast fit for a king at home.” 

However, I was unsure. I assumed I was expected to be the victor of every game in order to have the honor to receive a trophy. I prayed that I would not leave the school defeated, with a measly medal hanging around my throat.


Excited, my dad and I left the school cafeteria in a hurry and practically ran to the award ceremony. I realized that it was sunny outside, and I was shocked by how bright it was! I felt like the sun, burning with hope and promise inside.

Once everybody was seated, the award ceremony commenced! I had to wait for a long time while the younger and older kids received their trophies and medals. 

“It is time for the NEW section!” the speaker announced.  I was tense, for this was my section. My throat went as dry as bags of sand. Sweat poured down my back. 

“And now, let’s see who won a medal! Jonathan, Suzy, Mike, Raj, Nitin, Sara, John, and Raymond, please come up to the stage!” There was cheering as the kids went and received their medals. 

“Finally, it’s time for the trophies! In 10th place, it’s Xavier! In 9th place, it’s Mark! In 8th place, it’s Warren. 7th , 6th , 5th, are James, Zhang, and Chen! In 4th place, 3rd, 2nd, it’s Lou, Aariv, and Carl! Finally, in first place, is Bhavia! 

Screaming, “YES!”, I went to receive my trophy. 3rd place was all mine! My ecstasy had never been so great. When I saw my dad cheering me on and taking pictures, I felt so proud that he was my dad. So what if I had lost a game in the tournament! It didn’t matter! I realized how lucky I was to have such a great dad who cared about me and to have an amazing coach who never gave up on me. I was sucked into that moment, and I will never forget it. 

I hope you thought it was a good story. Writing is one of the most important skills in life. You should practice every once in a while, even if you’re busy.

Here is a picture of me at the tournament after the award ceremony!

Written by

Aariv Modi

37   Posts

Aariv Modi is a blogger, programmer, Alexa skill developer, and AI enthusiast. He is in 9th grade at Round Rock High School and has created several Alexa skills and mobile apps. Aariv was recognized as the Voice/AI Pioneer of the Year by Project Voice in 2021 for his contributions to the conversational artificial intelligence industry. He is also the youngest AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder and AWS Certified Machine Learning professional. Aariv has contributed much of his learning with the Alexa and voice community through his blog and social media channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. During the COVID-19 lockdown, he taught hundreds of kids how to develop Alexa skills through webinars, camps, and posts on his website. He was the youngest presenter at several international voice and AI conferences, such as Project Voice 2020, VOICE Global 2020, and VOICE Summit 2020.
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