Despite the length of my round 5 game, I had time to have a nice lunch with a few of the local area players that I know. Just getting out of the hotel and eating somewhere besides Subway helps a lot. Poor David. I think Alan and I started to bore the hell out of him when the conversation went from chess to wineries that we've visited in Napa Valley. It's actually nice to be able to discuss something besides the latest opening theory, or how many people cheat online.
Amazingly enough I had managed to go through the first five rounds without playing anyone under the age 21. My last round opponent looked like he was a college student. Even though I didn't have to play any little kids they still managed to find ways to annoy the hell out of me. Sitting next to my opponent was a local kid who's around 10 years old and rated almost 1700. As I mentioned in my 9+10+9+12=40 post from last December, kids like to hang out and watch their friends play. They don't get to do that in scholastic tournaments, so they tend to take advantage of the the more relaxed floor rules in an open tournament.
At one point I looked up and noticed two kids standing on either side of the kid, "Peter" (name changed to protect the guilty.) seated next to my opponent. They weren't simply standing behind "Peter" they were squeezed in between the people seated on either side him. I'm thinking to myself "I'm glad he's not sitting next to me. I probably tell the kid to his right to back off." I didn't say anything at that point. It's Peter's problem, and if it's bothering my opponent he can say something.
Later some kids are watching from the end of the table next to my board, and start whispering. I say "Shhhh!" and wave them away. They go away, but then a little while later the same two kids came back and start having a conversation with Peter whose opponent is on move. This is occuring at Peter's board. At that point I had to say something. It's distracting for both my opponent and me, and Peter's opponent. I walked away from my board and signaled to the three kids to come over to me. I quietly reminded them of several things. First of all having a conversation in the playing room is not allowed, and especially not at the board. Second thing is if you're still playing you should be concentrating on your own game, not on other people's games. I also reminded them if they were at a scholastic this would not be tolerated whatsoever and could cost the game or lead to their team being penalized.
After my discussion with them ,they scattered, and I had to go outside and get myself recomposed. Once the kids start making noise it becomes part of my problem too. That's why I said something at that point. However giving the little lecture got me distracted so I had just leave the room and pull myself back together. I suppose getting the tournament director would have better, but they probably would have vanished by the time I hunt up Steve, and get him to go into the room. That would have taken more time, then simply giving them the two minute speech on behavior at the board. This was a round that I should have been listening to Bach.
Sometimes these kids don't seem to get it. Late in my game I had just made a move and stood up. I wasn't necessarily standing up to leave the room. I change positions a lot while seated. Sometimes I stand behind my chair. Sometimes I kneel on the chair. I'm get fidgety, especially when the position is complicated and I'm ahead. I'm thinking about what's going on in the position and Peter asks me how many points I have. I said "Two. Shhh!" and waved him off.
Gimme a break! What's with asking me about my score in the middle of game? He was sitting on the board next to me so there was a very good chance we both had the same score. Besides even if we both won there were already a number of under 1800s that already had 3 or 4 points, so we weren't winning the under 1800 prize. Besides I had given him this lecture about not talking to people in the playing room, and there he is talking. I'm sorry I don't care if he's only 10 years old. His rating is almost the same as mine. He's played in enough adult and scholastic tournaments to know better.
End of my editorial rant. I did not rant and rave at the kids, despite what the title implies or what some anonymous reader thinks. Here's the game. This was a heart breaker. The win was there, but I messed up at the end and allowed him the perpetual.
Even though I went a second straight year with no wins, it was a direct reversal of last year's score. Last year it was 1 draw and 5 losses. This year it was 5 draws and 1 loss.