Saturday, September 15, 2007

Now That Presentation Is Over...

I just would like to comment on the Lightning competition that took place on the night of the prize giving presentation.

IM Xie, father and son Smirnov, Kovacs, Wright, Mandla, Kordahi, Mandla, Greenwood, Norman as well as Steven (my brother-in-law), Theresa, and other fellow members of Ryde Eastwood chess club took part as well.

The competition had a minor incident in which Morelias got into an argument (yet again - yes, he got involved with Gletsos the last time a similar Lightning competition was held last month). He promptly upped and left the tournament hall without telling anyone and it was only after the next pairing was announced that Gletsos noticed he went AWOL. Sigh.

The competition consisted of a 9 round-robin 10 min Lightning game (5 min per player). I got wins over Greenwood (time), Gu (my 8 year old opponent blundered unfortunately under time pressure..... errr, 'nuff said) and also got a bye. So that means I got trampled to dust by...... hmmm... now that I think of it, by virtually everyone else...... nice. Have you ever seen pictures of a whale eating krill? Think of my opponents as the whales and me as plankton about to become food for the krill and you get the picture.

The biggest shock of my last round when unrated old me, got paired with Big Vladimir Smirnov (did I forget to mention he has an ELO of 2,260?) and I've got the Black pieces (I am sure if I was White, my chances of winning would've tripled to 0.00000001%) . When the pairing was announced, I accidentally let out a very loud "WHATT!!!" much to the amusement of quite a few players who were present.

I wouldn't discuss much of the game except that in those 5 minutes, I got taken apart methodically by Vlad (who didn't bat an eyelid). Come to think of it, never was there a greater mismatch between 2 players in the history of our club (> 1,000 ELO point rating difference).

During the game, I think I kept Vlad deep in concentration (or was he sleepy from the lousy moves I keep making?) Maybe he was thinking,"Keep dreaming, mister, this is about as close to 2,000 ELO points as you'll ever get." or "Should I sac my Rook for his Queen and win? Or even better, sac my Queen for his Pawn and win?" *grin*

The game ended when I got trapped in a potential mating net and resigned. We briefly shook hands and he left. Not a single word uttered. I am not sure in the end, if it was because I felt embarassed by losing or he felt embarassed by winning, but I'm more inclined to believe in the former. Or maybe I accidentally angered him because I once interrupted him over a discussion of a game he had with his opponent a few months ago. :)

Incidentally, what do you do when you meet opponents OTB who has such a huge difference in ELO points between yourself and your opponent?

In the end, IM George Xie took top honours for the competition with Vlad coming in second.

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