Last Saturday, during the NSW Open, I was talking to a parent about her junior's commitments to chess. I have to say I was left completely gobsmacked. Some juniors these days, it seems, are almost like little professionals; it's chess week in, week out. In about a month, the kid will leave for OS to compete in some junior tournament. During this time he'll also have missed some school work. Apparently, it took a little negotiating with the school principal before he finally gave the nod for the kid to take time off school.
There will be no special favours either. When our junior, one of the most talented up and comers in NSW, returns he'll face an exam on topics that he wouldn't have had already covered! After all, it's not as if these guys can play chess during the day and then study at night. Hard life!
So I was thinking, in the middle of this conversation, how do you guys manage it? All those sacrifices - financial, time, school and all that expended energy! Like I said, hard life.