Saturday, April 30, 2011

National High School Scholastics Day 2

Round-by-Round (link)

This place is a very busy hotel.  There are over 1000 chess players, families and coaches here.  There were two weddings last night, and others today, prom kids running around in dresses and tuxedos, a national nursing convention with over 1000 nurses packed into meetings everywhere around the tournament hall, the Nashville Marathon participants, hundreds of boy scouts-in uniform (why aren't they camping?), and an occasional prostitute!  That's right, Nashville is hosting a National Prostitute Convention!  Thank the lord that that convention isn't at this hotel.  Teenage boy fantasies are already at their peak this weekend with all the fancy dressed ladies!

While getting milk for the boys cereal, I met Elizabeth Vicary filming the "Garden Room".  She asked where we were from and when I told her, she immediately recognized Idaho as housing Luke Vellotti.  It was early and I noted that I follow her blog.  She nodded.  "So, you guys were in Minneapolis last weekend, huh?" I asked.  "No, it was Columbus."  Oops!  I walked away.  I really do visit her blog often and fantasize that I might be able to have a national championship team someday.

I played in the Parent & Friends Tournament side event.  I did not do so well.  Maybe the games were too short?  My first round was with a 1900 so I lost after a bishop and knight was forked early on in the game- don't push c4 too early when playing the Colle!  He was a rather stuffy and serious chess player - the type that knows it all.  I'm glad I lost . . . NOT!  In the second round, I played well and was winning, but lost out to the clock.  Weird game, though, as I developed a pawn chain in the opening that extended from here to Idaho.  My opponent seriously asked me the name of that opening.  I told him, "The Union Pacific Opening."  Round 3:  I won solidly using the Colle.  I again got my bishop and knight forked, but this time I set a trap that netted me a queen.  In the fourth and final round, I succeded after much work, to gain a drawn position, but I again ran into time trouble and literally wrecked my game by handing him my bishop with a bit over a minute left.  It was going to be a neat draw with only one pawn each gone, both kings facing off in the center, opposite color bishops and a knight that couldn't move until I placed my bishop neatly in its mouth.  I love playing chess!

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