Notes from another OTB tournament
This guy on the video is an average chess player on the tournament I just finished - a man who left his middleageness behind him and now is trotting to ugly phase of his life,... Now he is stiill making ikebana on his head, he is wearing nice albeit old shoes (cannot be seen on the video though), and a suit who will probably be on him in the coffin when the day comes. Now he is still playing chess. In Round 1, he got lucky to play on a board les then 21, so that his game was transmitted; he played against renowned Bulgarian GM Ermenkov. The man’s rating is around 1900 and he is average player of Belgrade Trophy.
Find the move which wins instantly in this position.
After chess holiday on Mediterranean island (which ended with unusual incident about which I wrote here, and which abruptly stopped my climbing to my first ever chess prize), only three days after I competed at home on jubilar XXX trophy of my home town.
This tournament looks like it came out from one of Kusturica’s movies. Two main referees: one is Czhech, Serbia’s old friend, who learned to say “nema problema” /no problems/, the other is Serb, who looks like a wrestler..For the first 2 rounds I even checked in a hotel on Belgrade’s outskirt to avoid the trouble of first round, when people never know whit whom they play. During the breakfast Czhech couldn’t get the fresh water from vending machine, but he said “Nema problema”. Bulgarian competitors spoke broken Serbian with Russians, locals, and Czhechs and Serbian is indeed chess lingua franca here.
This is “fight to see” pairings on small News Board:::
The assistants of referees are locals, old guys who looks like episodists in some folk comedy, clumsy waiters or plumbers who make more damage than good.
Thee rules are obeyed only on first tables, but often not even there. Average chess players always have smartohones on, “because they keep forgetting to turn them off”, and there are always a couple or more forfeitted games in every round. Silence is unknown concept here. Every player under rating 1900 must comment ther games immediatelly after the end, regardless other play around them.
I am in Zeitnod and two people next to my ears are simoultaneously turning their smartphones on while they are commenting their game.
In the middle of the tournament time several physical incidents occurred. In the main hall, one of the players threatened his opponent to beat him up and mentioned his mother in a typical Serbian curse.Referees chickened. Almost the same happened down there in “intensive care room” as I call it where on two tables with “average players” came to insulting and then again threat with fist fight. They calmed down somehow, however.
My performance was lame. I began, though, with souverene victory with white pieces over pretty highly rated guy, a Macedonian who stared at me during the game as a gaaay who was shy to offer me to go to men’s room for a shaggg, (*and he had ticks, too).
In the next round I was again white; I prepared for my opponent’s Grunfeld’s defense and confidently played until 38th move--->>>
Here I missed 38. Bf7, which would probably enough for draw..
I calculated wrongly that Black is bound to keep his King in e8-f8 to defend his Pawns.. I forgot Pawn g6 is defended by his Knight..
After this I decided to save the money and checked out from the hotel and the rest of tournament I used overcrowded city buses to go to the venue. Smart decision.
What a tournament. All kinds of losers, ugly faces, ocean of dandruff, smell of sweat and unwashed middle-age bodies, kids they are constantly dig their noses and kick their opponents under the table with their short legs, few girls and a pair of women, but mostly coffee shop player with no chess culture what so ever, noise and jam and melee, like on train station in East European film comedy from sixties, people wearing socks with sandals (although it is pretty cold here) but not because they are German tourists, but because either their feets swells or they can’t afford winter foot ware, fur hats like in Roumanian dracula villages, people who look like peasants on cattle fair or at green market.
The organizers have trouble to keep the three different halls warm:: they use an ancient heater which has a loud fan on the back side. The fan makes noise like jet engine on the plane. Waves of hot air is hitting directly toward the players, they put their shirts off, and absurd cardboard letters on the wall, in English, Happy birthday (*from some old party when guests had celebrated that they were aging) is dancing, and I feel like am sitting in a plane and crematory at the same time. After ca. 20 minutes, am assistant referee is transfering the heater into another hall (I say “Thank God!” in myself), to warm it too and I can hear him saying to the coleague “They are complaining over there, it is cold!”
It is a kind of Time Machine to play in such tournaments, when opponent is a kid who is digging his nose all the time (*luckily I had assepsolette tissues wet cleenex in my pocket to wash my hands after the game!), and I must sit aside, because he is cleaning his shoes on my trousers, and I am surrounded by bunch of peasants in sandals and dirty clothes... And I feel, oh Gosh, I am the only intellectual here, only good looking man in his best years, look that girl over there she is sending me signs... Maybe I should make a move to her after the round...