A simile is a comparison between two things. Similes most often use the words "like" or "as." If you're looking for similes, look for these two words.
When Meimei is learning how to play chess, she says "tactics between two adversaries are like clashing ideas." When two people play chess, each person has a strategy (tactics). Meimei imagines the two strategies as ideas battling it out. The best idea, or the clearest strategy will win. Part of Meimei's strategy will be her "invisible strength." That is, she will not reveal what her strategy is in words, gestures, or mannerisms.
In discussing her mannerisms while playing a tournament game, Meimei explains that she would "swing my patent leather shoes back and forth like an impatient child riding on a school bus." Although playing in a chess tournament, she would behave like a child on a bus. This is all part of her strategy of keeping her opponents guessing.
A simile can also use "as if" in making a comparison. Meimei notes that she would "twirl my chosen piece in midair as if undecided."
When Meimei runs away from her mother, she is upset and out of breath. She narrates, "My breath came out like angry smoke." It is cold outside, so she can see her breath. She compares it to angry smoke because she is upset. Possibly, she is comparing her icy breath to the smoke from an angry dragon.