18-year old American grandmaster Jeffery Xiong evened the score in the second game of the fourth round at the World Cup against his Polish opponent Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Tomorrow, September 22, they are playing the tie-break to get to the 1/4. While Jeffery is giving an interview after his successful game, we are talking to his father, Wayne Xiong. He follows his son to every single game and shares the most stressful moments with him.
– We are talking to you now after Jeffery has won the game against Duda. Tomorrow he is to play the tie-break. How does your son usually prepare for the decisive games?
– Oh, I don’t know all the details. I’m not aware of the professional preparation as I’m not the best chess player. I know some things about the game because I’ve been following my son to all the tournaments for the last several years. However, my knowledge in this area is very limited.
– So you’re just a support unit here.
– Yes, exactly.
– I’ve noticed that you come to each game of your son. Is it a tradition?
– Yes, and not only mine but his mother’s as well. We always accompany him.
– Around the world?
-Yes, that’s true.
– Do you have enough time for such long trips?
– We make a schedule of all his tournaments beforehand and I work distantly during this time. Actually, I’m a bank worker and have to go to the office every day. However, I know that Jeffery needs me, so I set this up with bank management. My position allows me to work distantly.
– What do you usually do when waiting for your son?
-As you have noticed, I don’t spend all the time here. I always leave Jeffery at the Chess Academy and get back to the hotel where I can work. At the same time, I always try to be by his side during tie-breaks. Jeffery talks to me during breaks.
– Do you watch his games while working?
– Actually, I’m focused only on work matters while working. Sometimes during the broadcast, the computer shows the right moves to make and I instantly get nervous as I begin to think: How will my son deal with it? Will he be able to make that right move? That’s why I don’t watch games but rather concentrate on my job. It’s very useful.
– How do you evaluate this tournament? What can you say about Jeffery’s first results? Are you proud of him?
– Sure. I’m really proud. It’s his second World Cup. The first one was in Tbilisi two years ago. That time he didn’t show such good results. You know, he has been working hard ever since with his coach. Now, two years later, he is much more professional.
– I guess it was said enough about the tournament. Tomorrow’s tie-break will figure everything out. Instead, we’d like to know the way you spent your first day-off here?
– We just went to a shopping centre and relaxed shopping. We like doing it.
– What did you buy? Some souvenirs?
– Right, some souvenirs, a new T-shirt for Jeffery and a couple other of things.
– Have you already been to Khanty-Mansiysk before?
-Yes, we were there two years ago at the World Team Championship and we stayed at the same hotel. So everything is familiar here. We like the city, especially at this time of the year. It’s just way too cold in winter here but now we feel like if we were at the resort.