Saturday, 4 October 2014

Queensland Championship, rounds 2 & 3

Old age seemingly does not go away if one ignores it. After a rather intense Thursday, a stressful Friday was more than my system was able to take. I left home at 1pm to give myself plenty of time to get to the venue, St Josephs Nudgee College, by 2.30 pm. Maps estimated the journey at under one hour but I only arrived at 2.50, 10 minutes before forfeit time. There was an accident somewhere apparently. Tony Dowden got caught in it, and with less of a safety margin built into his trip, missed the round.

Still, after some moves I was ahead on time and had a better position. Tristan had misplayed the opening badly and by move 20 black was all over white. Not taking the pinned pawn on e4 was criminal. One of my students had the cheek to say "checks and captures" with a grin on his face. He had heard me repeat this hundreds of times. Perfectly right!

I was a bit rattled by failing to finish the game quickly and kept making mistakes. According to stockfish black was still better and missed several chances later. Then I missed 40.Bd8! and defended badly although now white was better. The game did go longer than recorded here but my scoresheet was too messy to reconstruct.

Now I had about 10 minutes to compose myself before the next game! My brain was now mush but luckily for me Gareth spent all his time playing natural moves. Blacks position was fine, maybe a bit better, when he thought himself down to a minute for many moves and blundered a Mate.

I got home after another hour drive at about 11pm. That is when a migraine started and didn't go away. By 6am I had not slept, had a fever and a blocked nose. If I had been in Brisbane at a hotel around the corner I might have swallow a whole lot of tablets and soldiered on but the drive as well was just too much. I emailed my withdrawal, swallowed more pills and finally fell asleep.

Now two days later I feel human again. What lesson do I take away from this experience? I need to accept that I am no longer in my prime. No more driving for hours before chess games and only a game a day tournaments. What about fasting? Probably not a good idea immediately prior to an event.

Thanks for reading my whinge :-)  Next post will be more positive, promise! 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Queensland Championship 2014 Round 1

After a bit of a break I am back in the saddle again playing a tournament. This seems to be chess season in Queensland. But of all the tournaments that have passed this is the only one with a first prize of more than $1000 and anything less is just not worth wasting a nice weekend for, especially now that spring has arrived.

My day started nicely enough, waking up in Wilsons creek with a view of Mount Chincogan where I was staying at a friends place attempting my first fast for more than a year. I say attempt because I had the odd bite and didn't even go the minimum of 7 days. In the morning I found out that the tournament was starting Thursday night and not Friday. Oops.

On the way home I stopped in at the Broadbeach Mall to watch some of my students play. I took a few pictures to show you but then promptly lost my phone. When I returned to where I had left it minutes earlier it had gone and had not been handed in so I presume stolen. So off to the  Vodafone shop I go and walk out with a new Samsung 5. In that short hour without a smartphone I felt completely disconnected from everything. I miss my Nexus but that was not on offer and I couldn't bear to be phoneless a minute longer.

My first round game  started at 7.30pm at the Brisbane Bridge Club. An excellent venue with a glass cage similar to the one in Bilbao with the exception that it is not restricted to the players.

You will like this game. It features a piece sac and finishes with a Queen sac.

As usual I am going to be totally self-centered but should you be interested in the rest of the tournament then click on this chesschat link
Have a nice day and stand by for hopefully more of this sort of chess. And some pictures taken with my new phone which I can now enjoy courtesy of a thief.

Always look on the bright side of life.. .