Now back to my regularly scheduled programming: 2008 US Open.
At past US Opens I’ve had a tendency to stay up to play cards with friends after the round. I thought, as I got older I would outgrow such late night forays. However after last year’s Open where I kept leaving relatively early to drive back to my hotel, I think this year I making up for missed time. The more observant reader might have noticed the time stamp on “last night’s” post of 3:30 am. My computer is still on NY time. I’m not sure what time I’m on. Maybe I’m on Honolulu time. Maybe I’m still in Korea.
I’m in multi-task mode at the moment. I’m writing this post offline as I’m sitting in the delegates meeting. By doing it here hopefully I can catch up with my posting without staying up until all hours of the night. Yesterday’s meeting was a rather contentious session. I won’t rehash the details. If one wants to follow the action it was video taped. I did just stop to speak on a proposal that I was a co-sponsor for. Now proposals regarding rules are coming up, so I’m trying to pay attention to the discussion since this is stuff that I actually care about, or have co-sponsored.
Fortunately things are moving along at a much faster rate then yesterday. A number of motions have been withdrawn. I remember my first meeting in 1976 that went on forever and lots of stuff never even got brought up. Things have gotten more streamlined over the years. It’s currently a little after noon. The next round is at 3:00 PM. Hopefully this will end in the next hour. I think I need a nap before my next round. Actually what I really need before the next round is a Rybka implant.
*Sigh* It's after midnight and I never got this post finished. I also never got that nap I was looking for before round 9. The lights in the ballroom are off and there are just a few chess people lurking about. The curtain has been lowered on another US Open. Don't ask me who won. Those guys were in the front of the room I spent my time in the back. Round nine was a rather insipid opposite colored bishop ending where despite being up two pawns I couldn't do a damn thing. He wouldn't move his king off d6 and I had the wrong colored bishop to make him move from that square.
Nothing special about the game. If you want to see it go to Mon Roi. You can also find out who won the tournament. My pathetic 3 points wouldn't even had won the E prize. Some guy with an 1188 rating scored 4 points. To quote Chess Loser "I suck!" I think too much traveling and not enough sleep did me in. I should have known this wasn't going to be a great tournament when the hotel issues me a room key card with fish on it.
Round eight's game was actually pretty interesting. It even rated a diagram in the daily bulletin again. It would be nice if I'd get a win with a diagram in there, but nothing but losses and draws. Actually I would have been happy with a win of any sort. However wins did not come too often in this tournament. In fact I had no wins during the slow time control part of the five-day schedule. My two wins came in rounds two and five which were played at game/60.
Life in the fishbowl sucks. You're in the back of the room and near the doors leading in and out of the playing room. There's a constant flow of people in and out of the room. The doors are constantly being opened and closed. Also talking loudly outside the doors seems to be a favorite pastime amongst players and spectators. "Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer." There is always a constant buzz, so my way of dealing with it is to itune-it out with my iPod. I'd rather be listening to Mozart then hearing the noise from outside. I have to be careful with my music choices because sometimes it's either too energetic or too somber for the moment.
In this particular game the music got a little too energetic. I was deep in thought trying to figure out when he'd would sac his bishop on h6, and whether or not I could accept it or not. Like most highly twitchy chess players I have my little nervous tics that at time I'm totally oblivious to. Sometimes I bounce my legs up and down, but more often then not I'm doing something with my Mon Roi stylus. Usually I'm chewing on it, but this time I had it in my hand. I'm thinking about my move and Jon Haskel who was running the Mon Roi feed stops by my table. He's pointing at my right hand, and saying something to me. Since I had Mozart overtures going I couldn't hear what he was trying to say. I thought he was telling me I was having problems again with my game being broadcast. My round 7 game crapped out in the middle because the pairing output didn't match my Mon Roi profile. It turns out I was tapping the stylus on the table and making noise with it. He wanted me to be aware of the noise I was making. Oops!
I put the stylus down, but I'm having difficulty getting refocused on the position. I walk away from the board on my time to get some water, and bring my head back into the game. I also decided Bach would be a better music choice at this point. The position is complicated and both of us are taking a lot of time. The game next to us had taken 65 moves in the same amount of time it had taken us to make 26 moves. For a change I actually was using most of my time from the 2 hour first time control. Usually I can't sit still that long.
One thing that I have to get over is mentally resigning myself to loss of material or worse. Shortly before time control I had gotten my bishop trapped. There were no squares for it, but with the exchange of rooks on d1, I had a saving move. However because his rook move was unexpected and I didn't look deep enough into how the position had changed after the exchange, I missed the queen move that gains a tempo and freedom for my bishop. I just continued with my plan of getting a pawn for the bishop.
Some people may have looked at my round eight game on Mon Roi, but I'm posting it here with some analysis.
This is my last post from Dallas. I have to get up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight back to New York. When I get home I will write a summary, make some random observations and post a few more pictures.
Signing out from Dallas! Good night. See you back in New York.