Losing is part of the game of chess and an important part of a young chess player’s growth. As a chess coach or chess parent, one of our most important roles is helping a child deal with a difficult loss at a chess tournament.
After every round, examine the chess game together in a meticulous manner regardless if your student/child won or lost. Doing this creates a habit of calm reflection which is especially important after a tough loss.
Immediately after finishing the post game analysis of a loss, have your child/student explain to you which mistake(s) most directly led to their loss. If your child/student seems unclear when explaining their mistake, then it is worthwhile to spend some extra time helping them to understand the concept.
Reaffirm that it is ok to lose at chess as long as you have learned something of value.
Failure is an emotional time for a child. Do your best to make sure your chess student/child does not carry emotional baggage from one round to the next. Remind him/her that every round is a fresh opportunity to play great chess.
By following the steps above you will be teaching positive behaviors to your child/student, which will almost certainly lead to future successes. However, patience is the key as chess is a longterm commitment for a child and success is not defined by wins in a single weekend, month or even year but rather keeping the child passionate about chess for years to come.