Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wacky Wednesday!: The Dyslexic Version Edited

Note to anyone who had read this post on Thursday. I had one of my dyslexic moments and put the names on the game in backwards. I was Black in the game posted, not White. Those of you who have seen my games know that I don't play e4 as White, and I wouldn't play e5 on the second move of the Sicilian. I have corrected the game score, and added a few notes in light of the comments I got.

Having just returned from the Junior High Nationals I thought I share one of my amusing encounters with a neurotic chess parent at a past Parents and Friends event at a scholastic national. It seems like every time I play in the event I manage to lose to some parent who is much lower rated then me. Since it tends to happen in the first or second round I never get to play any of the higher rated players in the section.

Now that I've played in about 4 or 5 of these "Parents & Friends" events I learned that unless you're playing another coach or a parent with an established rating, the rating is meaningless. This because in most cases the parent's rating is based on just playing in this particular event in a previous nationals. This also means that the parent may not have a good handle on things like notation and the rules.

In one of my early forays into this event I got knocked off in the first round by a parent with a provisonal rating of 1179. Needless to say I was a little cautious when in the next round I got paired against another parent with a similar rating. I sat down at the board, and noticed he had no score sheet and no pen. I calmly said, "Excuse me, but you're required to keep score in this section." He tells me that he's not going to keep score because I have such time advantage because I'm using a Mon Roi. I try to explain to him that; one score keeping is required and; two it's not the big time advantage that he thinks. In round 1 I had one of my time pressure induced implosions and flagged in a position down the exchange.

He didn't want to hear about that. He was adamant about not keeping score because I was using a Mon Roi. He thought it was totally unfair that such a device was allowed. I rarely get into arguments with players, but I finally went and got the TD. He explained to the opponent that he had to keep score and that if he didn't then the TD would have to make a ruling. The TD said if he don't like the ruling he could appeal. At this point about 15 minutes have gone since the start of the round. I knew if the opponent appealed it would probably be another 10 to 15 minutes getting the floor chief, explaining the issue and getting a ruling. Finally I said to the TD "Just give me a scoresheet, and I'll write my moves down instead." I think the TD was tremendously relieved that I did not want to push the point further. At this point I just wanted to get the damn game over with.

This satisfied my opponent, and the game started. It turned out this was much ado about nothing. I think the dispute took more time to resolve then the actual game. Here is the game.

In light of how this game went, it was apparent that this was a very inexperienced player. It turned out his 1169 rating was based on his 4 games from a past Parents and Friends tournament. If anything he was probably overrated, unlike my first round opponent who was underrated. I think his issue with my Mon Roi was that he really didn't know how to keep score very well so he thought I was getting a huge advantage over him by being able to keep score on such a device. My reaction to him was stemming from my first round loss to a player of similar rating. Having lost on time in the first round, I did not want to give in on a point where I felt my opponent would gain time.

The tournament didn't get much better when in the third round a parent got upset with me because I ask nicely his son not to stand next to me when watching our game. i just don't like people standing right on top of me when I'm playing. I like my space, and it bothers me when people hover too close. The dad freaked out because he thought I was accusing his son of helping him. At the end of the game I apologized and told him I did not feel the son was doing anything wrong, but that just need my space. He told me I was taking this way too seriously. I wanted to tell the dad to lighten up, but he was just too freaked out.

After that event, I swore I'd never play in another one. However being the glutton for punishment that I am. I have played in several more since then. I have learned to take all the ratings with a grain of salt, and to not to take an opponent's over reaction too seriously. In many cases it's a matter of a nervous and inexperienced chess parent being a little over anxious. I managed one plus the score, but most the time I end out two and two. This past weekend was no different, except one of my losses was finally against a higher rated player. I may post one of those games later this week, because some interesting things did happen.


BlunderProne said...


I think sometimes people do that to rattle the opponent because they are insecure. In a sort of related incident at our club the otehr night, a scuffle occured prior to teh start of the round. It escalated to one player saying loudly that he refused to play this person who was refusing to move the board a few inches to the right because he didn't want to move his bag. Prior to that, the stationary opponent refused to use the clock that his opponent offered or to play on the board he wanted. It's Black's perogative and he showed up late and demended to use his stuff. It got ugly.

Edwin said...

Sorry to see you lost your game like that. Were you totally out of it after all that discussing going on? 2.e5 looks kinda ugly though, vs the Sicilian.

nemo said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss to such a lower rated player. At the same time, it gives me(a low rated player) some hope! lol jk. Perhaps you should avoid the event if so many parents complain. It's like that here too; a parent always complains when I beat their child. They claim that I cheat and what not because I'll sack pieces and whatnot to deliver the mate. They claim this isn't chess haha.

tanc(happyhippo) said...

after reading all these comments, I can only say whoever said,"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people."

was 100% correct! :)

Polly said...

To all: I did not lose that game. I just put the names in backwards in Chess Publisher.

Blunder: Sometimes so called adults can be more childish then children. Last night two players got into a bit of a pissing match before the game started.

Edwin: When I saw your comment I realized I had put the names in backwards. I don't think I've ever become that unglued over a player fussing. I think I was more upset during the third round when the one parent laid into me for asking his son to watch from his side, not mine.

BlunderProne said...

Phew... I resend taht last Ouch!

nemo said...

lol you totally coulda passed that on as a late april fool's joke ;)

Polly said...

Nemo: I'll keep that in mind if I'm looking for a more creative April Fools post for next year. Unfortunately I have enough dreadful games like that where I was on the losing end that I don't need to fake it for an April Fool's prank.