Monday, April 6, 2009

Super Nationals - The Morning After

Calm after the storm

It's Monday morning, and I feel like I've been hit by a truck. To top it all off, who knows if I'm getting out of here today. There crappy weather all over the country, and it's snowing in Chicago. Why does it matter that it's snowing Chicago? I'm flying through Chicago to New York. I suppose you're wondering what happened on days two and three. A lot!! I think I must have walked 5 miles each day going from my hotel room, down to the basement, back up to our team room, down to playing room for the junior high, and then going to all the other playing rooms to take pictures. Saturday was really insane because I also played in the Parents & Friends tournament. The playing room for that was a million miles from everywhere else.

I will be writing various posts about the weekend in the next few days. I don't know how people do live blogging. I start out with a couple of posts with pictures and then by Saturday I'm totally toast. I was going to put up pictures that I took on Saturday, but when you're dead tired and took 400 pictures it's hard to decide what to put up. It also didn't help that every picture upload I did for the first two posts took about two to three minutes each. Hotel wireless is always so slow!!!!

As I mentioned before I did play in the Parents & Friends tournament. This was my chess playing debut in Tennessee. I've been a tournament director (Knoxville - National Elementary 1992) and coach (Knoxville Super Nationals I, Nashville Super Nationals III and IV) in Tennessee. First the good news about the tournament. I was undefeated. The bad news; I had 3 draws and a win against players rated 1206 to 1350. The most annoying game was round one when I had to settle for a draw in game where I had been up a bishop and pawn. Unfortunately I had to sac the bishop to stop him from queening. I will post the game at another point.

The Wandering Queen in her Wandering King Endgame Shirt

The most exciting part of the tournament was after several years of getting beaten by a nose our team finally won the national championship! K-9 team champions. It certainly was nerve wracking as we waited anxiously for the last game in the section to be done, since we needed the player from the team we were tied with going into the last round to lose or draw.

We're #1!!!

This is all I have the energy for at the moment. Look for upcoming posts on my foray into chess photo journalism, life in the K-1 section, and other stories. Lots of pictures to follow.


es_trick said...

National Champs!! Congratulations!

Saul R. Priever said...

Congratulations Polly!! What team were you the coach for?
P.S. I miss you! Please come to Los Angeles for Memorial Day?

chesstiger said...

Congratulations with the title!!!

Btw, why do you look down to 1200+ - 1300+ players? They have good games aswell! And dont forget, those players have the most room to improve.

As negative i would only say that it seems that you, again, were doing many things except to be focussed on your own game. Something must have distracted you. Maybe time to become more egoistical when playing a game of chess.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Polly! We shared the departure lounge with several of your players for several hours today while we waited for our flight to LGA (delayed from 11 am to 2:45). Nice kids. Lots of bughouse.

Hope you got home safely and easily.


CHESSX said...

National Champions well done.
All the hard work pays of in the end.

James Stripes said...

Congratulations to your team!!

That victory should make up for the disappointment in your own competitive performance. Underperforming is always tough on the ego, as we all know. Last week I won a tournament, winning five and losing one. But, I was the highest rated player, and that one loss meant that I underperformed. I won prize money and the pride of first, but my rating went down.

Banatt said...

Oh wow, very nice!

Yeah, that was one heck of a trip. Were you there for the tornado warning?

Our flight to New Jersey was delayed nearly three hours. Then they rushed everyone onto the plane and then refilled the tank and made us sit for another hour.

Our team grabbed a room right outside presidential. Jackson E, it was called. It saved us a lot of walking but even so, by the end of the trip I couldn't see anything, literally.

I was going to liveblog too, but there was no time nor energy for that.

My coach took what he called a "Vegetable day" today.

Nice job on the undefeated score! I believe our coach scored 12th with 2 wins 2 draws.

Polly said...

ES: Thanks. The kids did a great job despite some crazy pairings like everyone on the team getting black in the odd numbered rounds.

Saul: Your ears must have been tingling. Randy Hough was asking if I had heard from you since he said you haven't been playing in So. Cal lately. I haven't decided about LA this year yet, though leaning that way.

Tiger: It's not that I'm looking down at lower rated players. All three of them played well and deserved their draws. One would expect to perform better when outrating one's opponents by 400 points.

During the tournament I wasn't doing anything else but playing. With short time limit most of my issues were time related. When it got noisy in the playing room I blocked out the sound with Mozart.

Ellen: This was one time that flying late paid off. By the time I left the weather had improved, and I was only 15 minutes late arriving into NY. I was almost sorry that I wasn't on the same flight as the ids. I've always enjoyed the airport departure lounge blitz and bughouse games.

James: I wasn't the highest rated player in the section, but giving up draws in the early rounds made it so that I never got a chance to play up. There were 74 players in the section and I was ranked around 15th, which meant I would have needed to go 2-0 in order to be paired up in round 3. My second round opponent was the lowest rated 1 who dropped down to play me as the highest rated 1/2. He had beaten a 350 in round 1.

Banett: Sorry I didn't get chance to meet up with you. At least you made it despite all the delays. Some players from NY area had their flights canceled on Thursday and could not get an early enough flight on Friday to make it down. I was there for the tornado warning.

Saul R. Priever said...

Tell Randy I say hi, and I'll probably see him April 19 or late May when I play in one of Hillery's upcoming tournaments.

Saul R. Priever said...

By the way Polly, from what I've seen, your Supernationals photography is brilliant!

Blue Devil Knight said...

Sounds fun look forward to more updates :)

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Hi Polly,

I was catching up on your blog and was stoked to see you sporting the Wandering King shirt!! I hope you love it.

And as always, great coverage of the event.

Polly said...

Endgame: I'm going to email you a picture of a couple of the IS 318 moms and me in our wandering kings shirts. We were discussing how nice and soft the cotton is.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Awesome!! I'm glad you like them!

We have worked very hard to make the best chess shirts the world has ever seen.

BTW, that's 100% ringspun, combed cotton, baby! The finest available and the only kind Anand wears (or so I hear ;-).

Talk to you soon.