Typically my performance at the past World Open events had me too nerved up in the first few rounds to pull off any wins until round 4 or 5. This year, it seems to be different. I am meditating just before each round and staying as centered as possibly knowing that my months of preparation is adequate to play some decent chess in the U1800 section of this major event.
Yes, it would be nice to win money. However, I see to many folks like myself before, all worked up and with r/e next to their names as they re-enter ( and pay even more money) to have a shot at the big prize. Not me…not this year.
My goal is just play some decent chess, have some fun and click my rating up 16 more points to reach my next milestone at 1800! I am well on my way. At the half way point I won 2 games and drew two games. I took a bye for the evening round 5 and spent the time with my wife and a night out on the town recuperating after a grueling 6 hour marathon game that ended in a draw.
The timing of the rounds is not good for someone who is used to eating at certain times of day. At about hour 5 into the Saturday marathon, I decided to buy a couple of hot dogs that were being offered by the hotel just outside the playing hall. These things were sitting around most of the day in lukewarm water way past freshness date. Needless to say, I awoke in the middle of the night, sick and sweating. Not a good start to day four. I was still peaked by the start of the round and my insides were raw. I suffered my first loss and it wasn’t pretty. I just wasn’t myself. The good news is that I had plenty of time to revive myself before the next round. Food poisoning is not fun at a chess event.
Enough of the unpleasant news, here are a couple of my earlier round victories. One is against a player by the name of Dragan and as my name is George… my patron saint is St. George the Dragon slayer! I won with a pawn mate! The second game I won because my opponent blundered away his queen. Been there done that.
That’s all for now, I thought I’d blog from the front lines. I am enjoying watching the “big games” Gata Kamsky , Elvhest, Lendermann and many others showed up for some chess. A quick note about Jann Elvhest. I was getting my usual breakfast sandwich at this corner market a block away from the hotel ( because its much better for the price than the over priced stale hotel offering) and ran into Jaan Elvhest. I say hi to him. He just looks at me, winces and looks back at the menu. Not a word from the grandmaster. Getting snubbed by a GM…I am so honored!