Thursday, April 1, 2010

Victoria Bound!

Greetings from JFK airport where I am waiting to board a flight to Seattle. I will spend the night in Seattle, and on Friday morning board the Victoria Clipper to Victoria, BC. Unfortunately the view of Victoria Harbor will not look anything like the picture below I took in June of 2006. The forecast is rain, followed by more rain. What does one expect early April in the Pacific Northwest?
Victoria Harbor

Government Building in evening.

However it's not the weather and great outdoors that brings me to Victoria. I am playing in the Grand Pacific Open. April 2 - 5. No this is not an April Fools joke. Why in earth would I travel cross country and out of the country to play chess, when the Philadelphia Open is going on at the same time? Because I can.

This has been a strange year for me chess-wise and otherwise. Who would have thought I'd be riding around the tournament room at the Liberty Bell being pushed in a wheelchair? Or being pushed through airports to and from Bermuda in a wheelchair. After awhile the attention was just too much. With that in mind I decided I wanted to get far away from the New York chess scene that extends all the way down to Philadelphia. Everywhere I play, I get asked "How's the ankle? Are you feeling better?" The answer is, "I'm feeling better, physical therapy is going well, and thank you for asking. By the way, how are you doing in the tournament so far?"

In the last few weeks I've been able to get myself down to The Marshall Chess Club completely on mass transit. I've ridden the subway on the weekend, and I've ridden it at rush hour. Once I hit the "subway at rush hour" milestone I knew I was on my way back to normality. Yes there are time I still am using the cane, but need is decreasing day by day. So this trip was all about getting on an airplane by myself with none of my friends making a fuss over me. Not that I did not appreciate all the help from various tournament directors, teammates and chess friends. I would have never been able to get out as much as I did without their help. But now I just want to be able to travel without needing extraordinary measure to get me there.

Tomorrow I will start playing in a tournament where I don't think I'll know a single person. Maybe I'll meet someone who reads my blog, but maybe I won't. It doesn't matter. It will be nice to play in a tournament where I will face people I've never played before. I'll get to meet some new people. It's been 32 years since I last played in Canada. Maybe I'll have to add Canadian provinces to my list of states.

Stay tuned for tournaments reports.


tassie said...

Realizing the weather is terrible in the Pacific Northwest, hope you make it to Victoria in time for your first match. Good Luck!

Tassie - for Clipper Vacations

Polly said...

Tassie: It was an adventure to say the least! Stay tuned for my report. Your people did a wonderful job getting us there via bus and BC Ferries. I did make it in time, just barely!