Aug 032008
 

My uncle taught me how to play chess when I was 5 or 6, but I didn’t stick with it and only played occasionally in the 30 years since. My neighbor got me interested in chess again two or three months ago, so I picked up a copy of Chessmaster and sat up playing quick 10 minutes per side games against the computer.

So my neighbor and two of his brothers and I drove from St. Louis over to Kansas City to play in the KC Open ’08 at the Kansas City Chess Club.  I was afraid of being pumelled, but if I waited until I was comfortable it’d probably be another 30 years. I wanted to see how I’d compete, given I was more or less at the same skill level I’d have been at at 6, if I’d have hunkered down.

Didn’t do too bad, and had a grand time. I thought it would be a complete waste of time to spend six hours on a single chess game (my longest only took three hours); six hours is four full-length movies, or one or two good books. A decent nap, too.  Contrary to my expectations, my three-hour game was by far the funnest; it was actually enjoyable.  It was the only game I lost, but I reviewed and caught my error and promise to never pick capture an unpassed pawn over a passed pawn.

Hung out at the Argosy Casino afterwards Saturday night and spent exactly $20 on beer and quarter slots.  Went back to the hotel and tossed and turned.  Woke up, ironed my clothes, and went to the lobby for a ‘continental breakfast’ (“How can we feed an entire building for $15?”).  Came back to my room, opened the door, and was greeted by a pretty big spider sitting on the ironing board.

Played two games Saturday and two Sunday.  Won 3, lost 1.  USCF 1421, provisional.  Hope to do better with some more study and lot more sleep next time.

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