Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Round 3 disaster.


If I ever express the wish to play in a double round tournament where the morning rounds start at 8am, I have a request from my friends. Please sneak up behind me silently and put a bullet in my head. I seem to be incapable of learning that lesson so I need to be put out of my misery. Also I keep combining my desire to visit interesting developing countries with chess. Why? I am busy playing all the time and don't get to see anything.

I remember several years ago losing nearly 100 rating points playing in Asia. The last tournament was in Subic bay, Philippines, where I scored 2.5 from 9, my only win being against an unrated ten year old and scoring three draws against the rest, all but one considerably lower rated than me. I then went back to Europe and got them all back in a very short time


The lesson I should have learned a long time ago is to only play chess if the conditions are good. I am obviously a softie who requires silence and comfort to be able to think. True, it is a weakness but one must be aware of one's strengths and weaknesses. 

The latest disaster

Although my new hotel is closer to the venue it is also next to the main road and I am on the first floor with a window facing the street. There was some kind of party going on which woke me up a few times during the night but at sunrise, about 5.30am the noise started in earnest. Traffic noise here is different from what we are used to. People can't seem to leave the horn alone. Every car and motorcycle, truck bus, whatever, has the need to announce it's presence to all the world all the time. People shout into their mobile phones or at each other. Talking normally is unheard of.

So after another cold shower and a cup of tea I headed up to the tournament hall where the building work continues. Tractors, workmen scraping walls, hammering things and of course people shouting at the top of their voices into their mobiles just outside the playing room. The spectators crowd around the boards like sardines and today several of them moved the pen on my score-sheet to see the moves! The arbiters occasionally make token efforts to help but it only lasts a few minutes.

Anyway, my 1951 opponent played well and took advantage of my insipid play. I also had some extraordinary hallucinations. The funniest was thinking that a h+g pawn could force an outside past pawn against a g+f pawn.

Anyway, the organisers are doing their best, it is their first international open and they probably are so used to the noise that they don't notice it anymore. I will not spit any more dummies because I brought this on myself. Seven more games and I can go home, to a hot shower, a brewed coffee and most of all, silence. And I am serious. If you are my friend and you see me contemplating a murderous double round event in a developing country, please put me out of my misery without any warning. Seriously. I am not joking.


  1. Alex - there's this memorable quote of Mel Brooks. `How do you define Comedy?' "I don't know, but one thing I DO know is that, One Man's tragedy is ALWAYS another Man's Comedy!'. So, you rock!

  2. You're welcome back to civilisation any time...

  3. Back home in France to play in your favorite team?

  4. How nice that would be, and after a dinner with Escargot, Soup de Sepp, Fromage blanc a l'ail, with several glasses of just the right wine...