Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XII

Standings/results are already posted at the USCF website.

Shira is happy that her rating increased to 1747 from the results at the Challenge (scored 50%).  I now have a provisional rating, which is pretty funny, actually.  As I told Tom, it felt very strange to be playing chess against players young enough to be my grandchildren.  As I came in an unrated player, I was matched against lower rated players and those are the younger ones.

It wasn't exactly that I was "prepared" to play in the tournament but I felt I had my nerves fairly under control, until the first game started after my young opponent, a very nice young man, showed me how the clock works and I suddenly realized that I needed to record the moves of the game.  EEK!  I got so flustered and could not focus on either playing or writing the moves down very well - after a couple of moves I forgot about even trying to write down my opponent's moves, I was having a hard enough time just writing down my own!  Several of them are probably wrong in any event, because I am not so familiar with the chessboard that I instantly recognize where a piece was moved to, I really had to look -- check the file, check the rank -- to get the letter and the number of the square!  As a consequence, but no excuse, the game was a fiasco!  I lasted all of 14 moves and resign well before 30 minutes (for both of us) had passed!

I did not expect any of my games to result in wins, I had hoped I might score a draw and my best chance probably came in game 3.  I recognized one move too late a real killing move, too late to also prevent my opponent from recognizing the threat and saving herself, eventually going on to win the game.  At least games 2 and 3 were over 30 moves each, and I was proud of my efforts in those 2 games, even though I lost them both.  Game 4 I was utterly exhausted and did not play well at all.  I think I just wanted it to be over!

All in all, I greatly enjoyed my first chess tournament and my hosts from Southwest Chess Club, Allen Becker, Tom Fogec, and Robin Grochowski, who were attentive and helpful.  I had some flyers for Goddesschess which Tom passed out to each female player present and the rest were placed on a table for anyone interested, along with flyers on various upcoming tournaments, advertisements for coaches, etc. 

Crispin, Shira's significant other, decided against playing and when he wasn't taking photographs and watching us play, he was working on his laptop in the skittles room.  He took lots of photographs, I am going to post many of them here.

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XIII (the number of the Goddess, by the way), is set for April 16, 2011 at the same hotel, which was a very nice one with clean, modern facilities, pleasantly decorated and lots of bathrooms!  My only complaint is that the "pantry," as it was called, a sort of self-serve mini-store, was very expensive.  $1.50 for candy bars and not a large selection, but I paid it because after Game 2 I badly needed some chocolate!  A bottle of wine would have helped too although certainly would not have aided my play :)

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