I had only used a little over an hour, and he had used closer to an hour and a half. I was disgusted with my position, and my mind was off on one of its "looking ahead to next round pairing scenerio" ramblings. This is the sort of thing that happens when I start spending too much time looking at the pairings, requested bye lists and results. I had noticed that 1 player had taken a 1/2 point bye for round 2 so there had been an even number for the round. I knew he was going to play round three which meant there would be an odd number. I then looked to see how many players were taking byes in round 3. Four players were taking byes. I did the math. 1 player is returning making it odd, and 4 are taking byes, keeping it odd.
I'm sitting at the board staring at this miserable position while my opponent is thinking. I know he's going to play 34...Qh8. I will have to trade rooks and then move my knight away. I'm down a pawn, and I'll probably lose the isolated a pawn or backward d pawn. A normal chess player would probably be trying to come up with plans on how to hold on in such a position. What am I thinking about here? "Damn, the two players lower rated then me scored points this round. I'm going to end out getting the freaking bye. There probabbly won't be anyone around to be a house player since so many people are taking requested byes. Also the kids aren't playing in the evening so there won't be any parents or coaches hanging around who might want to play. What am I going to do this evening? My host is at a party, and my friends are away." Yada, yada.
While my mind is off on this rant I happen to notice that my opponent's body language is changing. He's squirming in his seat, and shaking his head as if to say, "I'm toast." I'm thinking to myself, "Am I missing something here? Can't he simply play Qh8?" I start looking closer at the position. Nope, there's nothing there. There is no skewer on the e8 rook. Qh8 holds everything. Is there some combination I'm missing after Qh8? He suddenly stops the clock, shakes hands and leaves the board. I'm totally stunned. I continue to stare at the position to see what I missed. After 35. Rxe8 Qxe8, 36. Nd5 I'm threatening a fork, but it's easy enough to stop.
That certainly resolved the bye issue. When I saw Ron on Sunday I asked him if he had not seen that he had Rh8. He thought his king was on h8. I showed him the position on my Mon Roi with the king on h7. He asked me if that position was right. I assured him it was. I think he was kind of shocked that he had missed that. I probably didn't make his morning with that bit of news. To make matters worse for him, his opponent was a no show.