Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XV!!!!

I came, I saw, I fought through my first three games and beat off an Excedrin Headache Number 4,320, which is specifically reserved for female chess players (432 is the number of the Goddess, just ask historian, writer and myth-teller Joseph Campbell).  I lost all three games.  But I, even I, who am nothing if not brutally honest with myself, knew that I was playing "better" than during my pitiful appearance at Hales Corners Chess Challenge XIV last October.  I was lasting more moves into the games, I was taking more time to make moves and not paying much attention to the clock, and I was trying to "see" the board -- not with so much success, unfortunately.

Ellen Wanek, everyone's favorite mom and chess coach, was there to prop me up and we cheered each other on.  I even managed to write down most of the moves more or less correctly this time.  I didn't have the guts to have Sheldon play through one of those games with me afterward in the Skittles Room, though.  LOL!  And so, even though I had not been even anywhere near a draw (leastwise, as far as I could tell), I felt not so bad about how I was playing.  Yeah, I was making idiot dumb mistakes and - par for the course - recognizing moves I should have made one move too late!  EEK!  Always, always, always my opponent would see the threat AFTER I did, and recover.  Damn damn damn!

I had McDonalds for lunch!  It's been so long since I've had a Big Mac and fries, I can't tell you, darlings, how good they tasted!  Yeah, 10,000 calories, I'm sure I gained five pounds just by sniffing the air while I was waiting in line to place my order. 

And - Ellen had cacao 70% chocolate bars in her stash of goodies.  We actually hid out in stairwells to eat it, it was that good and that forbidden...

Hmmmm, come to think of it, we shared a final cacao bar before our last game.  I wonder...

Here is the only photo that turned out that was taken with my camera -- two other shots (one I took shortly after I arrived and my hands were shaking so badly I don't even know why I bothered!) turned out blurred.  This one, taken by an obliging gentleman, turned out nicely - except I look absolutely GHASTLY, OHMYGODDESS - I look like I weigh 300 pounds and my eyes are so swollen and my face is so puff (and red) you can hardly even see that I actually have eyes!  What the Hell!  I'm amazed my looks didn't scare my opponents into giving me some wins, geez!  And those glasses up on my forehead - sort of look like pointy little devil ears, don't they...

Manisha Vootkur, Teja Karimikonda, Ellen Wanek, and Yours Truly,
Ms. "I dont even recognize myself, geez!"
I had asked my friends and even my enemies to pray to the Goddess of Chess for me to give me at least one draw for Challenge XV.  That's all I asked for - just one little draw.  Guess what darlings - I GOT A WIN!

WOOOOOO WOOOOOO!  Unfortunately, I got a win against a gentleman who looks like Kris Kringle.  Take a look at that photo above - do you see the head of a white-haired, white-bearded gent in the background between Manisha and Teja?  He was my final opponent for the day, in Round 4.

Round 4, when I was so tired and bleary-eyed I couldn't really even see straight and my brain felt so fried.  But I was determined, absolutely determined, to keep on fighting until the bitter end.  Just like the tag line in "We Are The Champions" by my most favorite band ever, Queen.

I knew things were going my way when I snaggged Mr. Kringle's Queen and he didn't have an adequate response.

Now really, who wants to beat up on a gentleman who resembles Santa Claus?  I did think about that, I truly did.  And then , well - I sort of beat him up anyway.  I'm happy that I won a game - FINALLY - but I'm sad, too.  Because winning means that someone else loses.  And that is never a good feeling.  At least, you know, unless your opponent is an absolute Schmuck whose heart you want to cut out and burn while still beating, it shouldn't be. 

Here is part of the game.  I was Black -- forgive the notation, it's not the best:

1.  e4  e5
2.  f3   Nc6
3.  Nc3  Ng6
4.  Ne2  d6
5.  d3  Be7
6.  Bg5  O-O
7.  g3  Nf6 to h5
8.  Qd2  Nc6 to d4
9.  Ng1  c6
10.  f4  Bg4
11.  f4 x e5  Nf3
12.  Kf2  NxQd2  Seeing/making this move was like - hearing the Heavenly Choir...
13.  Be2  Qb6
14.  Ke1  ??? for some reason I don't have a move written down - I may have fainted or something...

I'm not clear on the moves between 15 and the end of the game. I have moves written down, but I seem to have switched to moving the white pieces, at least, in my notation I did. Strange, very strange.  I must have forgot to write down another move.  Darlings, I WAS moving the black pieces on the board.  Honest!  I'm sure my opponent would have objected at some point if I'd started moving his pieces around in addition to my own...

What I can tell you is that the final three moves were Qx Nb1, Rx Bg5, px Rg5, white resigned, I have an "R" under Black at move 23 but I didn't resign, so it must have been Mr. Kringle resigning on White's move 24.  Oy, some Chess Goddess I am, duh!  But I still had my Queen, because I had taken Mr. Kringle's on move 12. 

Maybe some day I'll sit down at a board and see if I can get it straightened out. 


Before I sign off for the night, cuz I've got a steak sitting on the counter getting down to room temperature that is calling my name Jan....Jan..... here are the final round standings:


  No. Name St Rate Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Score

1. Santarius, Erik (1)........... WI 2387 W9 W16 W17 W4 4.0
2. Burgess, Jon L (3)............ IL 2206 W19 W6 W10 W11 4.0
10. Ulrich, Rachel J (36)......... WI 1763 W54 W18 L2 W19 3.0 (Wins $120 Goddesschess prize money)

50. Pahl, Sandra R (53)........... WI 1373 L14 L47 L49 -B- 1.0 (I think Sandra should win some Goddesschess $$, it's not her fault so many people dropped out after R3 that she didn't have an opponent for R4)
56. Karimikonda, Teja (51)........ WI 1439 L41 L39 L27 L43 0.0  (We were rooting for Teja; she won Goddesschess prize money in Challege XIV playing in the Open Section)


  No. Name St Rate 1 2 3 4 Score
1. Loomer, Xavier Mar (19)....... WI 1209 W7 W5 W4 W12 4.0
2. Ran, Eric M (26).............. WI 1109 W41 W10 W19 W9 4.0

15. Vootkur, Manisha (31)......... WI 856 W44 W14 L12 D18 2.5 (Manisha wins $50 Goddesschess prize money)

27. Ulrich, Susanna G (23)........ WI 1161 L13 L3 W49 W41 2.0 (Susanna wins $40 Goddesschess prize money)
38. Wanek, Ellen Ann (32)......... WI 852 W45 L22 L8 L24 1.0
42. Filali, Sara A (39)........... WI 597 L29 -F- W44 L28 1.0
43. Newton, Jan L (40)............ WI 575 L36 L11 L24 W49 1.0

It was such a pleasure seeing everyone again, and chatting chatting chatting, oy, I'm hoarse! Congratulations to all of the winners!  Rachel Ulrich in the Open and Susanna Ulrich in the Reserve also receive free entry to Hales Corners Chess Challenge XVI, should they choose to play, courtesy of Goddesschess. 

Hmmmm, seems I'm going to lose some ratings points, LOL! Go figure!  Oh, this is just too funny!  I started in 40th place and finished in 43rd, despite my win. Okay, let me at that steak...


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