Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XV

Hola darlings!  A post-tournament report, some amusing incidents and some musings.

Whew - I think I have nearly recuperated from yesterday's grueling tournament.  My alarm is on auto and it goes off every day at 5:50 a.m.  I was so exhausted when I finally hit the sack last night I slept straight through until my first "wake up" at 5:05 a.m.  That's pretty rare these days -- the curse of being a post-menopausal woman is sleep disruption.  Sigh.  So, sleeping through like I did was a sign of utter exhaustion.  I visited the bathroom and jumped back into my nice toasty soft bed, and snoozed until the alarm went off.  Went downstairs, fetched the newspaper, had coffee and a big fat chocolate chip macademia nut cookie and at 7:15 a.m. I curled up in my favorite wing chair, put my feet up on the matching footstool, tossed my fashionable leopard-print afghan over myself and promptly fell asleep for nearly another 3 hours!  I finally forced myself to get out of the chair just before 10 a.m.!  Geez! 

After game 4 yesterday, I stopped in the hallway for what was going to be just a minute or two to say my goodbyes and chat (I had said good bye to Ellen earlier, as I told her it was my intention to head out home immediately after I finished R4 because I take the bus -- I was hoping to make it home before dark).  But then I started chatting with a mom who had a son playing in the Open (one of the higher rated players), and then Sandra Pahl was in the hall (she played in the Open) and I asked her how she did and we started chatting and then - geez, seemed I must have chatted with twenty people or so including Greg Reese who gave me a good tip about Chessmaster 10 and where to get it for real cheap, but I was so tired and bleary-eyed at that point maybe I'm conflating every single chat I had throughout the entire day into that last exit from that hallway outside the playing rooms!  Anyway, Sandra and I were going to head to the skittles room and play a quick game but we chatted so long upstairs that when I next looked at my watch I had barely enough time to get to the bus stop to catch the 7:19 Layton Avenue bus.  It's probably a good thing - what was I thinking?  I had already played a pick-up game in the skittles room earlier in the day with one of the chess moms who is definitely good enough to play in the Reserve Section.  And there I was, exhausted, head feeling like it was going to bust wide open like a water balloon at any second, agreeing to another pick-up game with a player who would wipe me over the board in about 10 seconds?  Just goes to show you --

I'm totally insane...

As it was (as I wrote to Ellen Wanek earlier this morning):

As it turned out, the bus was late! Funny story - there was a black kid dressed like a hip-hopper at the bus stop when I got there - I was going to ask him "how do you keep those pants from dropping to your ankles," you know, the kind where the butt is hanging down to the kid's knees. Instead I said oh, were you at the chess tournament? He looked at me like I was crazy! Then I put down my bag, pulled out my wool beret (because it was getting chilly out), my big Las Vegas sun glasses and put them on (because the sun was going down but it was still bright outside) and my gloves, and organized my game sheets, all the while telling this young man that he should start playing chess and come to the next Hales Corners Challenge right over at the Wyndham Hotel kitty corner from the bus stop. That poor kid - scared the crap out of him, I could see it on his face CRAZY OLD WHITE LADY. Oh, I had a good time doing that :) When the bus came, I sat toward the back. You know how teens are, they almost always gravitate toward the back of the bus. But I think this kid was so spooked by the CRAZY OLD WHITE LADY he sat near the front! Oh, it was sooooo funny. 

Okay, maybe it's not politically correct to write such a thing, but it's the honest-to-Goddess truth. And I really do wonder how the heck those kids keep those droopy drawers up -- although I have seen at lest a couple of times dudes running downtown to catch a bus (hobbling along is more like it as they can't run unless they're holding up their pants, which is just too funny to watch!) and those pants just come flopping on down around their ankles tripping them up...  Good enough to make this CRAZY OLD WHITE LADY laugh her butt off. 

And, come to think of it, how on earth do they keep those droopy drawers off the floor in the bathroom if they have to - well, you know.  Eeeewwwwwwuuuuuewwwwwww!

Of course, that has nothing to do with chess.  Please ignore that.

While I was writing to Ellen this morning I had this brain storm to scan my game sheet and post it here, to brag about my win.  Yes, I am nothing if I am modest.  So, without further ado, here it is:

The first thing I realized when I tried playing through this game as I've recorded it - something like ten times - is that there is no way this is a real game.  I pulled out my regulation size USCF cream and black playing board with the black and cream big plastic pieces, set them all up, and played through the moves.  Over and over and over again. 

I mean, darlings, it just could not have happened the way I recorded it.  I did figure out that the move I recorded as 3 Black was Nf6, NOT Ng6.  Duh!  I also eventually deciphered move 20 White (which was actually MY move - see prior post for how I somehow ended up writing my moves under White rather than Black, so that I (black) eventually resigned with a Big Fat R written under Black move 23, rather than my opponent, Mr. Kris Kringle, but somehow I ended up winning the game anyway), which records Q to b2. 

Got that?

Black's move (my move) 12 is totally illegal if my Knight was actually on f3, which it must have been, because even though I do not have a "check" mark next to the move, I had put White's King in check, I do remember that, and he had to do something.  His move was K to f2 - why, I don't know.  If it had been me I would have swapped Knights.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, after he played K f2, I played NxQd2.  Except White's Queen was sitting on d1, not d2.  There was a Bishop on d2.  And none of this makes any sense to me at all!  Except that if I DID make the move NxQd2 I actually took the Queen on d1 and left the Bishop sitting on d2. Totally illegal. Didn't even see it.  Evidently, neither did my opponent, or else he was so freaked out by me actually making such a move (remember the Kasparov-Judith Polgar incident at Linares when she was 17 years old???) that he was petrified into inaction and played the rest of our game in catatonic shock.  Come to think of it, I was pretty much catatonic myself by that point in the tournament.

There is another move that makes absolutely no sense to me as I recorded it:  I have White on move 22 taking his own Bishop on g5 with his Rook.  Then I took his Rook with a pawn.  Now why would White take out his own Bishop?  Obviously that did NOT happen!  But that's what I recorded.  And where was this mysterious pawn that I allegedly used to take out White's Rook on g5?  Next move, White resigned.  I wrote "R" underneath Black's (my) move 23.

Go figure.

Ohmygoddess!  If I "won" this game by making illegal moves, then it's not really a win at all, it's a cheat.  Oy, my head hurts now just like it was hurting yesterday.  And I was trying to be SO careful writing down the moves, too.  What did I do? 


alleenkatze said...

Jan, from your game record and my curiosity about the post I believe the following were the moves played in your game against Bud Burgin (aka. Kris Kringle)...congratulations on your drawing first blood!

[Event "HCC XV"]
[Site "Wyndham Milwaukee Airport Hotel"]
[Date "2012.05.10"]
[Round ""]
[White "Burgin, Bud"]
[Black "Newton, Jan"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.e4 e5 2.f3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nge2 d6 5.d3 Be7
6.Bg5 O-O 7.g3 Nh5 8.Qd2 Nd4 9.Ng1 c6 10.f4 Bg4
11.fxe5 Nf3+ 12.Kf2 Nxd2 13.Be2 Qb6+ 14.Ke1 Nf3+ 15.Nxf3 Bxf3
16.Bxf3 Bxg5 17.Bxh5 dxe5 18.Rf1 f6 19.Rf5 Qxb2 20.Nb1 Qxa1
21.Ke2 Qxb1 22.Rxg5 fxg5 0-1

Jan said...

I have to get ready for work now (ick), I will set up my board and play through this. I've gotten back to reality - playing Shira Evans Sanford at and getting my butt beat! Thank you for taking the time to go through that game I recorded - I truly must be getting dyslexic in my old age. How many games does one have to play before you can "see" the letters and numbers on a square automatically instead of craning your neck and trying to focus tired eyes to figure out where you want to move a certain piece to (and then mark it down wrong anyway, duh!)

alleenkatze said...

In the heat of battle the eyes deceive and the mind goes numb. Nerves are shattered and hands tremble; for each of us has seen our own defeat as the enemies plan takes hold. Even in victory steady caution is required until games end or you may fall victim again. Chessplayers lament!

Your score is no different from those of masters or club player alike.

Jan said...

Well, I don't know about a club player or even someone who playes tournaments regularly! Hales Corners CC XV was my third ever tournament, and frankly, I don't know if I can survive another one!

Tonight I did play through the clear moves you posted. I wrote them down in the other columns for white/black on my score sheet after the place (move 14) where I started recording my moves under the "white" column! Geez.

Even with the clear moves written down, I still made several mistakes moving the actual pieces on the board. Like, what gives Jan, I asked myself over and over again. But finally, after many missteps along the way and having to go back 4-5 moves to where I knew it was right, I finally worked my way through the game and I went yeah, that's what happened.

Now I'm wondering - what the hell were you doing, woman, making some of those moves? LOL! Followed only by, what the hell was Mr. Burgin thinking making some of HIS moves?

The human brain, a mysterious machine, indeed.

Thank you so much for taking the time to decipher the moves I wrote down on my score sheet for Game 4. So helpful! I feel much better now that I know, for sure, I did NOT make an illegal move (or two) to win the game. But I still feel badly about winning against "Kris."

alleenkatze said...

Jan, your site has so much interesting material and your posting about the tournament and game caught my eye. Your sponsorship and participation in these events has certainly been appreciated by the SWCC and many others. Remember that losing is part of learning and true winners are gracious in victory. Thanks for sharing your game here. offers more casual games and training material similar to redhotpawn.

See you on the boards.

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