In one those amazing feats of NYC aviation, my flight actually left ahead of schedule. If anyone has ever flown in or out of New York they know what a miracle it is to not be in a long line of planes trying to fly out of JFK. Getting out of New York early meant arriving in Bermuda early.
It's a Bermuda Open tradition to have a cocktail reception for the players at one of the local's home and then return to the hotel for a blitz tournament. I knew I would not make it for the reception, and I figured I might get to see the last round or two of the blitz. However I forgot about "Island Time". No matter whether one travels to the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda or any other tropical island, people do things on island time. It means everything is done at a leisurely pace. The chances are if something is scheduled for 8:00 pm, it's more likely to start at 9:00 pm.
When I got off the plane I called one of my friends to let her know I arrived. The security people weren't too happy with me talking on the phone so I had end the conversation promptly. That would really suck to get tossed on the next plane back to New York because I was yacking on my cell phone. Though the one piece of information I did get was that the blitz had not even started yet.
After getting my luggage and going through customs I recognized GM Nick De Firmian. He had come down on the same flight with GM Pascal Charbonneau and another New Yorker Conrad Ho. We shared a taxi to the hotel. No, I did not get any pointers on the way to the hotel. :-)
We got to the hotel in time to join the blitz tournament for round two. Conrad and I got paired against each other. He smacked me around in the first game, and I drew the second game. That was dumb luck since I was getting mated as he ran out of time. I didn't even realize he had run out of time, so I thought I had lost. I won round 3 2-0. In round 4 I lost 0-2 and in the last round I won 2-0. In that last round I got extremely lucky in the first game. I had one second left. All my opponent has to do is make any move and I'm going to lose on time. He went into a deep think and used up his remaining 10 seconds. My 5.5 points was good enough for 2nd under 1800. $25! $5 of it in Bermudian money that I will have to spend here.
This tournament is organized by Nigel Freeman. (Pictured below.) He does a wonderful job putting the whole thing together. Tomorrow all the players are invited to his house for lunch.
Class prize winners:
Under 2200 - Andrei Moffat
Under 2000 - Moses Mufandaedze
Under 1800 - Max Steinberg
Under 1600 - Kennedy Simmons
First round is 8:00 PM tomorrow night. Wish me luck!