Friday, February 15, 2013

Goodbye Thursday Night Cracktion

Last night was a sad occasion in the annuls of chess in New York City.  Steve Immitt held his last "4 Rated Games Tonight" at the New Yorker Hotel.  Known as "America's Longest Running Action Tournament!" it had been going on since 1987.  I guess like a good Broadway show, it closes sooner or later.  Hopefully like many a great Broadway show, there will be a revival of Steve's action show.

I wish I could say that I had one more good chapter to add to Polly's Thursday follies, but alas a nasty case of the flu caused me to miss closing night.  Unfortunately when one teaches chess to kids there's not only the risk of being exposed to bad chess playing, but the risk of being exposed to cooties of the worst kind.  All the hand-washing and flu shots could not save me from this nasty bug.  Who knows if it was the kindergarten kid who kept coughing in my face despite my pleading with him to cover his mouth, or the 2nd grader that kept putting the pieces near his face who gave me this lovely flu.  All I know is that it's been a lousy week, made worse by missing Steve's last Thursday tournament.

As of this statistics post written on May 2, 2009 I had played 790 games in Thursday night "cracktion" events.  I've never gotten around to updating those numbers with the games played since I made that post, but my guess would be that I probably played another 300 to 400 games in the event.  A new reader might ask why I refer to the event as "cracktion".  Considering how many games I played in that particular tournament one can see that despite how bad it might be for one's game it's like crack.  Very addicting.

Many of the games were entertaining, although at times for the totally wrong reason.  At other times the stories behind the games were very entertaining.  There were many colorful characters that I encountered over the years.  Some them I encountered all in one night.  If nothing else the tournaments provided me with a lot of the material used for this blog.  Perhaps that's why I haven't been writing much because I haven't played in the tournament much in the last year.  Actually that's not really the case.  Much of 2012 was spent focusing on getting my 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  The feat was accomplished in November.  Preparing for that test was more stressful then having one second on my clock in a winning position.

With that out of the way, there may be more time for blogging and playing chess.  Time will tell.  Tomorrow I'm off to Parsippany for my 33rd US Amateur Team - East tournament.  I get a break from getting hammered on board one this year.  I'll be playing board two with most of the usual suspects from my chess club.  I'm not sure how much of a break it will be.  My post-flu track record at chess tournaments isn't so good.  As Alfred E Neuman would say "Who me worry?"  I may skip a US Open or New York State Championship here and there, but the USATE is another story.  I still regret skipping it in 1991 otherwise I'd have a very impressive streak of consecutive years played.  Though 22 years in a row isn't too shabby.

Stay tuned.

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