Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rotten Week

Well, I went to the dentist on Monday, and while I was at home that night with sore gums, but thankfully no cavities, I noticed that my throat was getting sore. Sure enough, I was getting sick. I was home from work on Thursday resting when a huge thunderstorm rolled through town. After it had been really pouring for about 15 minutes I started hearing dripping in the spare bedroom. Needless to say, that's a room that's not supposed to have any water in it.

I grabbed the closest thing I could find from the kitchen to catch water, which was unfortunately part of my rice cooker. That's going to need a heavy duty cleaning before it's fit for cooking again. Water started dripping from a second spot, and for that at least I grabbed a small garbage can. I used a knife to poke a hole in the ceiling where the two drips were occuring to keep the water from seeping through somewhere else. It smelled awful, so I'm sure that this has happened before, but that it took a storm of that intensity to bring the problem to my attention. I've got an insurance adjuster coming out tomorrow to look at the damage, so at the moment, I don't even know what repairs are needed.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kentucky Open

I played in my first "big" chess tournament in ages. Although it's nothing compared to an 800 student nationals, about 45 players is about 3 times bigger than anything I've played recently. Also, the G/90 time control makes a big difference.

In the first round, I played someone rated about 250 points higher than me, and once we reached the end game, he offered a draw. I was hungry, and considered accepting the draw just to make a lunch run easier, but thought I had better chances so I played on. About 3 moves later I realize I was so hungry I was getting a headache, so I offered a draw back, and my opponent accepted. Ironically, we ran into each other at Chick-fil-a down the road.

In the second round, I played a very nervous 5th grader. This was the only player in the tournament I played who was lower rated than I was. I thought I had a good position out of the opening, then all of the sudden, I had no space to move around in. I turned things around with a little combination that at a minimum caused a bishop trade and relieved pressure on my king, however I got a fork out of the deal too and won easily after that. Up until that point though, I was sweating though.

In the third round, I played a high school student who had drawn his game with the kid I played last round earlier in the tournament. Things were going well until I made I move that had consequences I really didn't like. I ended up moving the piece right back to where it started. (Note to self, castle sooner!). I ended up getting my rooks forked, but by using some mate threats, I at least got a piece and a pawn for my rook, as well as getting the opponent's king out in the open. I found a combination in this game as well that won a piece and a pawn for me. Immediately after this exchange finished, I was telling myself to play carefully and not to waste the advantage I had just gained. Then I realized that, probably shocked to have gone from being ahead to down, my opponent had moved his king into a position where I could fork it and his queen.

I was really happy going into the 4th round with 2 wins and a draw. If I had played just a little bit better I might have managed a draw in one of the games on Sunday, and ended up in a 3 way tie for first in my rating section. If I could have managed a win in one of those game, I would have won the section outright. I'm not too upset because my rating got a nice boost, and I felt like I played well.

I also ran into Hank Rothgerber, who played at St. X while I was there. He was a junior when I was a freshman. Eric Cramer from Central was there too. It was the first tournament he had played in a long time. He was in my section too, and he was one of the players tied for first with three points. Ironically, we recognized each other right away, but I had to say something to Hank before he recognized me. He even said it was my voice he recognized and not the way I looked. (To be fair, I have quite a bit less hair than I did in high school.)