Thursday, December 10, 2009

Up In the Air!

As I'm writing I am winging my way towards Dallas for the National K-12 Championships. Fortunately all the really crappy weather was yesterday, so at least we got off the ground. We were late leaving New York because of strong winds. When that happens they only can use one runway at La Guardia. If they thought the wind this morning was strong I hate to see what happens when the really gusty winds start this afternoon. I guess the wind is from all the wild mid-west weather. Once again the early departure time works in my favor. Though for me a scheduled 9:50 departure is late. I told the team coordinator that if she had me make the reservations we would have been on the 7:00 am flight. She doesn't do early mornings.

The team coordinator and I could have been doing a Mac commercial on the plane. I'm a Mac, she's a PC. We were both trying to connect to the on board Internet service. It took me about 2 minutes for my Mac Book to find the signal and get online. She had to fiddle with all her settings, ask for help from the flight attendant and still had problems connecting. After a half hour of fiddling she then shut off the Wi-Fi turned back on and was able to get connected. Back in my data center operations days we used to refer to that as a "hardware reset". That always sounded more impressive then telling the user we turned their machine off and back on, or that their printer was unplugged which often was the case.

I can tell that airline travel is down when there is hardly anyone in the security lines even at 8:00 AM. I actually ended out going through the line a second time because one of the kids on our team forgot his chess bag. That wouldn't be such a big deal but his wallet and ID was in there. Fortunately a kid traveling with an adult doesn't always need ID. Somebody drove out with the bag, and I ran outside and got it. I made sure that when I went back out to get the bag that I left my sweatshirt off. I stuffed my phone in his bag, took off my shoes and was through in a flash. I'm glad his chess clock didn't send the guy manning the x-ray into a fit. They'll be seeing lots of chess clocks today.

The bughouse tournament is this morning. We never come down in time to play in that. However the kids will play in the blitz tournament this evening. I'll be busy taking pictures, and trying track down winners for possible inclusion in my article for Chess Life. There are a number of kids from my area that have good chance of doing well in both the blitz and their respective grades. I'm not going to mention names right now, lest I jinx anyone.

Last year our team finished second in the 9th grade section. This year there seems to be some extra competition in 10th grade. It gets much tougher in the high school divisions. Kids that went to all different middle schools in NY are now together at Stuyvesant HS. Stuyvesant is one of the elite public high schools in NYC. These schools draw good chess players. In April we won the K-9 Championship. Fortunately Hunter HS is not sending a 10th Grade team. They've got 4 10th graders rated over 2000 including Alec Getz who's rated 2317. Next April we will be going against high school teams that have 2300s on them. In the December Nationals the sections are strictly by grade. In the spring the teams have a range of grades on them.

That's all for now. Look for blitz pictures later on.


chesstiger said...

Good luck with the tournament, may your chess kids play much better then their rating. May they all get trophees and joy of wonderfull games.

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous of your awesome chess schedule. Good luck on the tournament.