Saturday, November 29, 2008

Greetings from Redmond, Washington!

It's a little after 8:00 AM local time. I'm sitting across the street from the hotel at a Tully's Coffee shop. I'm having the super sized Gunpowder green tea and a bagel. Got to get the caffeine coursing through my body in time for my first round at 9:30 AM. There are two advantages of being over here for breakfast. One, I'm sure my breakfast is about the 3rd of the price of what it would be at the hotel. Two, and more importantly; free wi-fi! The Marriott wants $10 a day and it isn't for a true 24 hour block. It's noon to noon. That's a rip off when you don't check into your room until 3:00 PM. Why pay for something that you can get for free across the street. Unlike my US Open reports that came at 1:30 AM from the lobby, I am limited to the more civil hours of 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

I arrived yesterday, and had ask the tournament organizer, Dan Matthews if someone could come pick me up at the airport. He and a friend out to the airport and brought me to the hotel. That was very nice on their part, and much appreciated.

I had emailed DK-Transformation to let him know I would be in his neck of the woods. I thought it would be fun to get together with a fellow chess blogger. He has beaten me to the punch in terms of writing of our encounter, but now you can read my side of the story.

Two Bloggers Very Different, Very the Same

The Internet is one of those places where one can become someone they're not, or they can be very open and show exactly who they are. David is one of those people who how he writes is how he is. He mentioned in his post that he has trouble writing in fragments. He doesn't speak in fragments either. The energy and detail that goes into his writing comes through in his conversation and his opinions. Sometimes it was hard to get a word in edgewise, but that was good. For a change I got to really listen, and not worry about what I was going to say, or whether I would sound stupid.

We talked a lot about why we blog, and what our objectives are. He has wealth of information on how he uses Chess Base as a study tool. He wants to share what he knows via his blog. I can't quite remember exactly how he phrased it, but basically he's the ultimate "Chess Base Geek". He was telling me about the different ways he creates his various bases, and how he sorts and ranks the games. He's the guy who uses every resource and capability that Chess Base has to offer. I'm more like the guy with a top of the line racing bike with a cluster that could get me up L’Alpe d’Huez, but instead rides around the block in my neighborhood just using one gear.

It was interesting watching his encounter with the book seller and the discussion of copyright issues. He was blunt and came out and said what he felt. Any blogger who has had the privilege of his leaving you a lengthy comment on what he feels you're doing wrong, and what you should do instead, I got to observe the verbal version. I'm not sure I would have had the guts to tell the guy off like that. However that is David being David, and it was a cool thing to observe.

It was interesting to learn what a homebody he really is. After all here is a guy who grew up in New Jersey, worked on Wall Street, lived a Buddhist Temple in Korea, and now lives across the country from where he grew up. Me on the other hand grew up in Maryland, and moved to New York and has been an east coast gal my entire life. Yet I don't need much of an excuse to go somewhere else to visit. I inherited my fraternal grandmother's and my father's love of traveling and exploring new places. So the opportunity to use up some frequent flier miles and go play chess in another state was enough of an excuse to bring me to rainy cool Washington State.

It's almost 9:30 here, and time to go play some chess. Hopefully I will not be generating 6 weeks worth of Wacky Wednesday material.


transformation said...

its best if i listen in first as far as our meeting and accessments, before offering any comments!

one thing. i have ZERO issues with someone housing unpurchased content at home once in two years--its not like one person is going to put microsoft, viacom, or chessBase out of business.

But when someone tells us how many dozens of times they have been attracked, hurt, wronged, THEN proceeds to elicit a long menu of 'if you pay X i can furnish one copy; yet if you pay Y, i can burn three eBooks'--when this is commercial AND the book came out in october from a top international grandmaster--yes, i got a problem with that.

and its not a financial or legal problem for me. its his twisted energy. he is hurting himself far more than he hurts lev alburt :).

you on the other hand. you are a real gem polly. good luck today with those nimzo indians.

after the long exegesis on my repertore and how i arrived at it, i forgot to say one thing--how i had to give up the english as white when i realised not only did i hate playing the sicilian as Black, but if i hated it so much as Blk, why keep going for it as Wht even with an extra tempo.

think about that one. on the other hand, i played the caro-kann but not the slav and THAT was something i made myself do and now am very, very happy that i did. it really causes problems and i like that immensely.

dont forget to call the helpdesk here on 29th street.

love dk

[ps, its far better if you link to my post instead of to my blog, as in time posts add up and the link tends to dissociated from the target, in time]

likesforests said...

Good luck, Polly! And be sure to visit the Bay Area some time. :)

BlunderProne said...

As I said back in this post:

he is a strong cup of coffee.

Good luck in the tournament.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Great report, and good luck in the tournament.

Funny thing, I'm in Manhattan at the Algonquin typing this, just saw a concert at Carnegie. I've always loved NYC (I spent a lot of time here when my dad lived here), and it is nice to be back. I'm so jealous of the amount of chess here. I got beaten last night at W Sq Park (I played pretty well but too slowly, which given 5 0 time controls means I played poorly because the clock is part of the game, but it was a lot of fun)

Good to see a picture that is funny imagining you two galavanting around Washington causing trouble!

Polly said...

DK: I added the link to the post itself. That way if somebody reads this a year later they'll be able to get to your article.

Like: I was in the bay area in October. Next time I'll warn you of my coming. :-)

Blunder: That's an accurate description for someone from coffee town, though like me he likes tea.

BDK: Next time you come up to NYC for some culture let me know. I've never stayed at the Algonquin, but it's one of those wonderful old hotels of NY.

Those guys in Washington Square play a mean game of chess. I prefer to watch them rather then playing.

chesstiger said...

Wow, a supersized green tea and free wifi. Life cant get any better. :-)

Great that you met transformation aka David. If he indeed talks like he writes i guess i will need him to stop talking after three sentences to ponder over what he said.

Goodluck with the tournament!