So where did I leave off? Oh yes. Losing round three in an exciting game. After the game was done I hung around watching the other games finish up. Then I was looking to find some real food, since for the most part I had been just snacking on fruit and energy bars. One of the tournament directors and I went on a food finding mission, that failed miserably. What is it about bars that stop serving food after 11:00 pm in a town where nothing else is open?
Having failed miserably we returned to the dorm, and before going to bed Tony and I played a little more bughouse. Only in bughouse can you get a mate like the one pictured below. I don't know what other pieces were on the board for either side, but only the knights and White's king and pawns matter.
The move sequence was ....Nc2+, Kf1, Nd2+, Kg1, Ne2#. I love knights!
The following morning I got up, determined to find real food for breakfast. When I had been walking around town on Friday I recalled seeing a Swedish pastry and pancake place on Main St. I figured I would go for some of the local cuisine. The pancake place wasn't open, but around the corner is the Swedish Country Inn, a cute little hotel. They serve a nice buffet breakfast with Swedish meatballs, pickled herring (I passed on that one!), Swedish tea ring, rye bread, various meats and cheeses, and waffles. I can't say I've ever had Swedish meatballs for breakfast before, but they were tasty. After breakfast I asked the waitress how much I owed. She said that they would take care of that at the front desk. Imagine that in most places? Not going to happen. I was expecting to pay around $10.00 to $12.oo for breakfast. It cost $6.95 including tax.
Swedish Country Inn - Breakfast of Champions!
After a lovely breakfast it was time to play chess. I got paired against one of the teenaged 1600s who decided to play up. Nice kid for the most part, but he couldn't sit still. Almost after every move he'd get up and go look at the game on board one. After I would move he would come back to the board, make another move and leave again. In the past I would get annoyed when an opponent did that. I would feel as if my opponent wasn't taking me or the game seriously. However I've had my moments when I can't stay focused on my own game, and take to wandering around the playing hall looking at other games.
The only time I got annoyed with his wandering was when he came back to the board, not having seen that I had moved, and starting accusing me of recording my move on my Mon Roi before making the move on the board. I'm saying "What are you talking about? I made my move on the board first." He's insisting that I recorded first. Fortunately a player who was looking at our game saw that I had moved first, and told my opponent this. It was then that my opponent noticed I had moved and his clock was running. It's a little annoying to be accused of something when the one making the accusation isn't even at the board to see what I did or did not do.
That was about all the excitement the game had. He played the Maroczy Bind against my Accelerated Dragon. He had a lot of pressure, but I was able to make some trades. After my 21st move he offered me a draw. I happily accepted since my position was still a little cramped.
It also gave me a lot of time to wander around town some more, and have another good meal. Lindsborg is a charming little town, and quite different from many of the places that I've gone to play chess. Most of the out of town tournaments I've played in recently have been in large hotels in the middle of nowhere, or at an airport. After awhile one hotel looks like another, and there isn't much to look at outside the hotel. As I mentioned in an earlier post, all over town are hand carved dala horses, painted in different designs. Some of the designs and names were quite clever, so I decided to walk around town and take pictures of some the ones I liked in particular.
The one I'm standing in front of is painted in the traditional Swedish motif. Since they are hand carved and painted they are expensive. Even the smallest ones were not cheap.
I found another buffet for lunch. I love how they put it on the board outside the restaurant. "All you care to eat." Maybe that's a nice Midwestern or Swedish way to say, "Don't eat like a pig!"
I didn't want to eat like a pig since, I hate feeling really full when I'm playing chess. There's nothing like feeling totally stuffed, and trying to stay awake enough to play a half way intelligent game of chess. I figured I was going to pay another one of the teenagers, so I wanted to have a clear head and not be falling asleep at the table.
Sure enough I played the other 1600 in the section. We traded down to bishops of the same color and 5 pawns each. I offered a draw which he promptly turned down. My queen side pawns were connected, and his were split. However his king was a lot more active. He did win my a pawn, but he had the wrong color bishop to convert the pawn advantage. Since he had been so emphatic about refusing my draw offer, I figured I wouldn't offer another one. I'd either wait him out with the 50 move rule, three fold repetition, or let him offer the draw back. When he did conclude that it was a draw, it wasn't exactly a draw offer. It was more a begrudging realization that I was not going to screw up and give him control of the crucial a2-g8 diagonal, or move my king off c3.
Even though I didn't win any games, I was satisfied with my result. My non-losses outnumbered my actual losses. The first round game was ugly, but I felt I rebounded nicely from that game. Seeing how the Under 1800 section went, I was glad I played up. Colby Stuckman, rated 1349 at the start of the tournament went 5-0 in the section. I probably would have played him in the first round. Needless to say he's no longer in the 1300s. His rating shot up to 1634. Almost 300 point gain! Congratulations Colby.
Under 1800 Champion: Colby Stuckman
Kansas State Champion: Tom Brownscombe
Executive Director Karpov Chess School
Laurence Coker and Tony Dutiel
Organizer, Tournament Director.
A very nicely run tournament. Thanks for a well organized event.