- For players such as myself, who put the rank in rank amateur, scalping titled players is about the extent of our chess dreams. And lo, at only the gazillionth attempt, I have beaten an International Master. Yes, in a serious tournament game - not a friendly or on the internet, yes where money was at stake, potentially; no, he wasn't drunk, isn't decrepit, doesn't have a triple-digit age . . . so why aren't I jumping for joy? OK, I have to finally tell you. There is indeed a but. But, it was only a rapidplay event. They all count, except those. And there are no others, not in my case.
- Still, I enjoyed the game itself, especially before I looked at it with Rybka. Here it is.
- How did the rest of the event go? Well, I beat two weaker players, drew with a 235 ECF (2331 Elo) FM, and . . . lost to two juniors. Actually I can't remember the last time I beat a junior. Is it just me who looks at a tournament chart and shrugs at the FMs, IMs, and GMs written against the top names - only to shudder like a skeleton on a rollercoaster at all those JNRs instead? Perhaps my new chess dream should be to actually win a game versus a child, or even just somebody younger than me.
- And now for something completely non-chess, via one of the world's best chess bloggers, Elizabeth Vicary:
- Ah, the consolations of internet comedy! Not that for all its agony I'm tempted to give up chess for such untorturous amusements. Having not played seriously over the summer at all, the effect of the tournament on my mental alertness is obvious: as I write this the next day, I feel like I've had espresso beans injected into my eyeballs. I'm starting to think those who say chess staves off alzheimer's may be right - now that I am actually starting to think again, that is.
- One thing I didn't have to think about for very long was the advert from chessgames.com on the right. Can you play like Tal? it asks. To which, Of course I can is the answer we can all give. Think I'm joking? But it's easy. All you need to do wait for your opponent to castle, then castle the other side, point your bits at the enemy king, never move your knights backward, sacrifice all but the three pieces required for mate, and drink vodka for the first half of any tournament. It really is that easy to play like Tal. The difficulty is winning like Tal, and doing so against the world's best.
- Finally, haters of Boring Systems such as the Colle and Torre may be pleased to know I demolished one in twenty moves at the Richmond Rapidplay event.
If only juniors were as avoidant of the mainlines as us older players, we might even stand a chance.