Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bermuda: Party Time & Blitz

The long anticipated return trip to Bermuda is finally here. After what has felt like an eternity, today was the big day. Counting the days to returning to the doctor, hoping for good news after 6 weeks, dragged on and then the news wasn't so good. Now I've got to put up with another 3 weeks in this damn cast. So believe me this trip has been greatly anticipated though I'm afraid my ocean swim will have to wait until next year.

Last year I had taken the later flight and missed the party, but did make it time for the 8:00 pm "island time" blitz with a round 1 bye. This year I had taken the earlier flight with my super chess mom and the rest of the Westchester County contigent. Not knowing what the state of my leg was going to be, I decided I wanted to go to the airport and be on a flight with people I know.

When I booked my flight I also opted for wheel chair assistance. My ride through the airport gave me a great appreciation for these people who provide this service. Like many of the service people at airports they probably don't make a ton of money, but what a valuable service they provide to help a disabled traveler. This lady got me through security quickly, and helped me with all of my stuff. I'm one of these travelers that's got the whole security thing down, but I do have a laptop computer that needs to come out and go back into the bag. She helped me with all of my stuff, getting my shoes back on, and making sure I didn't leave anything behind. I could have used someone like that in Dallas when I managed to lose a good pair of reading glasses at the security check point!

Bermuda in February is not a major tourist destination, so the flight did not have many people. I think there were as many people in first class as there was in coach. The majority of our group had opted for the $99 upgrade to first class. I decided my bulk head seat in coach was going to be perfectly fine. As it turned out I ended out moving back a row and spreading out over 3 seats. That never happens when I take a red eye flight back from the west coast or over to Europe. Naturally I can do that on a flight that lasts about 1.5 hours. It was very nice to be able to do that.

I forgot that deplaning in Bermuda is much different then deplaning at most airports. There's no jet bridge so I had to make my way down the steps. I had let a lot of people go by me first since I had stuff scattered around over my old seat and where I moved to. I did managed to get down these steps albeit quite slowly without missing any of them.

View from my room. I won't be playing any golf!

The first scheduled activity of the weekend is a cocktail party at Larry Ebbin's house. Lots of people came for that. There were many new people, and many of the players who come back every single year. Larry makes a mean rum swizzle which is an island staple. I only had one, but that was probably more then enough!

Larry Ebbin - Our wonderful host!

Kennedy and Nigel working on the fish chowder.

WIM Ester Epstein & GM Alexander Ivanov

GM Larry Christiansen & FCM Natasha Christiansen

Andrei Moffet & Moi Round 1

The blitz is a double Swiss where you play White and Black against each opponent. In round one I was paired up on Board 5 against Andrei Moffett of Canada. He crushed me when I had Black. I was holding my own when I had White, albeit slightly worse position wise. Like many of my later games I lost on time.

I don't play much blitz chess. On occasion I will play online or sometimes I play with the kids at school. I don't take it all that seriously, and I have a tendency to miss things. My tactics are sorely lacking when I only have 5 minutes to work with. The first few rounds I would take Black first and then play White. I kept losing the first game with Black which made it so I would only be able to get a split at best. Then I switched to playing White first, but I'd still lose the first game! Some of the games I would just hang stuff, other games I had a decent position but would run out of time. I think I lost two games where the material was even or I might have been a little better, but I lost on time. I missed having a 5 second delay. The other player who beat me both games also won his class. I had forgotten that last year I beat him both games. Payback time.

I did finally manage to win my final match 2-0. However 4-6 was not such a stellar result considering I was paired down every round except two. Hopefully I got all my bad chess out of my system. I can always blame it on the rum swizzle, my bad ankle or jet lag. Though jet lag is a really pathetic excuse considering it's only an hour difference and it's an hour later here.

FIDE Arbiter Carol Jarecki

Grandmaster Tie for 1st Place
GM Christiansen Nigel Freeman (organizer) GM Ivanov

3rd Place: Anne Marie Charbonneau

1st under 2200 Andrei Moffatt
1st under 2000 Gordon Richie
1st under 1800 Guilbert Cancino
1st under 1400 Daniel Iwaloye

You can see more pictures at Facebook.


Anonymous said...

I'll be your no. 1 reader Polly. :-) Looking forward to your updates...

chesstiger said...

Never take blitz seriously, just have fun.