Yesterday evening, I fetched my brother-in-law Steven to the chess club after both of us had grabbed some dinner at my place. We arrived early at the Ryde Eastwood RSL and met Joshua Christensen and Shane Burgess at the cafe downstairs and had a little chat.
One of the interesting topics that cropped up in our conversation was the apparent lack of continuity at the club. There are currently a lot of elderly players at our club and not enough young members. The only active young member currently in the club is Vasey, not a particularly good sign.
Ryde Eastwood RSL desperately needs a fresh injection of new, young players if this club is going to survive 5 years later. Without new players, the chess club is going to suffer and might ultimately face disbandment. In addition, the quality of chess at the club is not very good with a huge proportion of players in the 1500s region.
An interesting event happened during the competition last night. It was a bit of a horror show for one player. After about half an hour into the game, a mobile phone rang (and quite loudly, I might add) and everyone's heads immediately lifted up above the board to see who was the unfortunate player who was going to be penalised.
It turned out to be my brother-in-law's opponent, Sotarduga Sitompul. The game was subsequently declared lost by Bill Gletsos.
The funny part was that after the game was declared lost, some 10 minutes later, his phone rang yet again (!), leading to a few chuckles around the room.
My opponent, Douglas Eyres was late but rather than starting the clock on time, I decided to wait for him to show up. Bill Gletsos told me he would turn up and he did, some 15 minutes later.
We settled down, I asked him if he needed some time to compose himself, grab a drink etc. before starting but he said no. We proceeded to shake hands and promptly started the game. My game concluded after roughly 50 minutes.
After the game, I walked over and consoled Sitompul who went on to tell me that he had set one of his phone alarms (either the ringer or the SMS alert) to silent but forgot to do the same for the other. Bummer.
Seeing that I was available, Steven and I started playing some blitz games (ok, a LOT of blitz games) and I kept playing the defence that I've been learning the last week. This time, my outing wasn't so good. I ended up +1-4=0. I found that in blitz games, I don't think rationally, going for risky and unsound play which Steven naturally went on to exploit and win.
Next week, I have one final game against Ray Kitchen while Steven is facing his toughest opponent of the round, Lorenzo Escalante.
After this competition is over, Steven and I would be overseas for a week to visit my father-in-law (it is his 80th birthday) - which would be a nice break for both of us.