Here I am in the forms competition.
A rare moment of a decent side kick.
The following weekend I traveled to Dallas for the National Elementary Championships. I wasn't coaching or directing. I just decided to go, hang out, possibly play in the Parents & Friends, and visit my uncle and cousin who live in Dallas. As it turned out I ended out getting work once I got down there. I took pictures and would be writing an article for Chess Life for Kids, and I also ended out coaching a private student whose regular coach had his hands full with his team. He asked me if I would work with the kid over the weekend. That worked out well for me, but my relaxing weekend ended out not being so relaxing.
I barely caught my breath from the weekend in Dallas when I get an email from the editor on Tuesday saying he needed the article that night because his typesetter was going out of the country on Thursday. How the heck was I going to pull off this feat? Normally I have plenty of time to do research, contact parents/coaches, come up with a theme and write the article. I had a flashback to my college days when I was the queen of procrastination. Quite often I would wait until the day before a term paper was due and start writing. I'd be up all night fueled by caffeine laden soda and junk food, and somehow manage to put together a paper that would give me a passing grade. (barely) In this particular case it was not procrastination it was a ultra-short deadline that I wasn't expecting.
To make a long night short, I pulled it off. I had enough information that I was able to cobble together a story that was a little light on story but loaded with pictures. After spending over an hour trying to write an introductory paragraph I finally gave up. I just started writing about each section and putting in as much information as I could about how each of the championship sections played out. I had some background info and one email address. That was enough to get things going. At 6:00 am Wednesday morning I was able to submit and article and lots of pictures. The article came out in the June issue of Chess Life for Kids. Despite the short turn around time on it, I actually thought it came out pretty well.
The club championship from hell finally came to an end, but not without more complications. We did have a clear winner, but there were a number of forfeits in round 6 and I ended out withdrawing to keep numbers even after somebody dropped out for round six. Argh! The good news is I picked up 97 rating points. The bad news is that was 3 points short of breaking 1800 for the first time since 1992. The worst news is I gave back 43 of them to under rated kids from Northern California. That tournament was the last of my three trips I made between Easter weekend and Memorial Day weekend.
That's the short version of how things have been going. I have some interesting games both good and bad. The two games I won in California were won using the same tactic that I lost to a few weeks earlier in New York City. Perhaps I finally managed to learn something from one of my losses.