Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is Chess Dead In My Club?

My rapid games last night at the chess club were ordinary. I lost 2 and won 1.

My opponents were Uno, Grieg and Thereza. I loved playing against Grieg, an absolute gentleman. He was in time trouble and I blundered in the end.

However, Uno has a penchant for playing moves by slamming his pieces down on the board so hard to make a point (especially when he is winning). Today, I made a mistake and rightfully lost but I congratulated him for his win nonetheless.

Thereza played horribly against me. She arrived late. I asked Thereza if she wanted the clock restarted (it's of no loss to me anyway) and she said no (I had only started the clock after more than 10 minutes had elapsed and I didn't feel it was fair to have others wait for me in the later rounds unlike a certain fella at my club who would start asap - not giving even 1 second). She had lost something like 3-4 minutes by then. That was nice of her anyway. Our game was weird, I ended up with a winning Q+K v K endgame and our clocks were ticking down. And Thereza did something unexpected. With 1 final move before I checkmated her, she declared,"Stalemate!" (which caught me by surprise as her King wasn't in stalemate) and I replied,"What stalemate?" She looked at it for about 10 seconds before realising her error. Ouch!

Sometimes I do wonder about the state of Ryde Eastwood League chess club. IMHO a few players' behaviour OTB can be improved. If these players were to continue playing chess this way, it's not surprising they're going to put people off (especially the younger players) with their antics. I'm being serious when I say this but this chess club desperately needs new blood and at the current way they're going, things don't look especially hopeful.

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