I am dog tired!! No more traveling across three time zones and jumping into the accelerated schedule with four games in one day. Time to suck it up, and pay for an extra night in the hotel. I would have been much better off coming in Thursday, and playing two games each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately my line on the wall chart resembled my blog name after three rounds. O-O-O. In another post I will put up some games. Right now that's too much like work.
The man behind this tournament is Fred Gruenberg of Chicago. He has organized the tournament for the last 25 years. He's done an amazing job over the years. He's got a top notch directing staff led by Bill Snead of Texas. This is the last National Open he's organizing. He's turning it over to Al Losoff. I'm sorry I never got around to coming to this tournament before. It's been very nice so far, lousy score and all.
Before round four started Al Losoff talked about Fred's contributions to the success of the event, and thanked him for a job well done. He was presented with video screen that's loaded with pictures from the 25 years that Fred has organized it. That's what Bill Snead is holding up in the picture below.
Al Losoff, Bill Snead, Susan Polgar, Fred Gruenberg
After the presentation it was time to play chess. I found myself on floor row. There were three of us on the bottom boards sitting at our 1700 floors with the same crappy 0-3 score. The depressing thing was I was probably 15 years younger then the other two 1700s. We were the "top half" of the zero score group. In this group there was no danger of playing little under rated kids. The kids all points of some sort or another. I finally managed to win, but was because of my stellar play. My opponent blundered a piece early. He had some attacking chances, but I managed to survive.
I finished in about two hours so I had time to kill. I decided I was not going donate any more money to the house. I spent my gambling budget last night. Instead I went bowling with Tom Nelson and his daughter Melinda. I've known Tom for about five years from the scholastic nationals. He is in charge of all those volunteers who take results, run errands, and do what ever else that the directors don't do. He works very hard at those events. He's actually playing this weekend for a change. He's having a much better tournament then me. I don't want to jinx him, so I won't say any more right now.
My bowling started out about as well as my chess. I threw two gutter balls on the very first frame. Tom is a very good bowler and Melinda and my goal was to have our combined score beat his score. We succeeded in the first game, by seven pins. We didn't do so hot on the second game and his score was higher then ours.
Me and Tom
After the bowling I went back to see what was happening in the tournament. Unlike me, some people actually play for six hours. There were about four games left including one on board 5 between IM Irena Krush and GM Gabriel Sarissian.
Below is the position when I left. Black just moved Bb2. Sargissian went on to win it.
Two more rounds to go. I still can get an even score if I win both games. This wasn't quite what I was expecting. Not that I was expecting to go 6-0 and make off with the money. Stay tuned.