Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mobile Phones And Chess Don't Mix

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.


  1. in retail, the rules for ending the game relate but not quite the same:

    "Ring, ring", customer answers phone, and suddenly our conversation about his or her important concerns have ended (for now), without so much as an excuse me.

    i walk away, not out of eyesight but seek another customer or task copiously within view, with my BACK turned to them.

    "i thought you were helping me".

    "oh. you had an important phone call and i didnt want to disturb you", said with nearly an eyebrow raised but deferentially neutral but as if to say: 'you ass'.

    7 to 9% of most folks WILL say excuse me and take the call.

    3 to 6% will appologize after.

    5% get mad at me, and tell me that they can multitask, and invariably cannot compose a question, or nor know what they want. they argue when i question them, which really pisses them off since i am not an idiot and this really pisses them off!:

    "is it indoor or outdoor?", "or in a wet or dry area?", or horizontal or vertical?", or wood, metal, plastic, or perferated?", "mat or gloss finish?"

    my role is humble but not quite rated as dirt. good riddens...

    here in the states, i go to dinner, and see three men of similar gender preferances at a table, two texting, one checking for messages, and virtually ignoring one another, looking around the room but not the person next to them...

    i broke up with a woman name Elisa eight years ago, in the end, her cell phone was the last straw--for me. pick her up at the airport and thus the arguments began... hadnt seen her in three weeks, and she has to take a trivial business call at 6:45 pm on a friday night, invading our space in the car, while just starting to talk...


    i dont have a single friend who carries these god damn things.

    nor does Yasser carry this crap. my best friend robert doesnt, i dont, nor my two other closest friends or if they do, it is not pasted onto their head.

    it is divided attention, and not a place for folks together. thats my rant.

    how many of these calls or messages are significant:

    "yo, yo. dude. whats up..."

  2. When the game is going awefully downhill my last resort is to call my opponents cellphone:)

  3. I guess cell phone penalties are a bit harsher in Australia. The standard rule in the US is 1/2 your time up to 10 minutes for the first offense. Loss of game if it rings again. I had it happen to me twice when I had gotten a new phone, and had not figured out how to put it on vibrate correctly.

    I know I probably should have turned it off completely, but I do like to know if someone has called. I have a tendancy to forget to check my messages if I have the phone completely off.

  4. dk:

    i can understand the frustrations of owning a mobile phone. although i carry one, i seldom use it except for emergencies or urgent calls (not the "hi, wanna meet up" phone calls type).

    as they said it in Fight Club,"the things you own end up owning you." or something similar.


    lol. works better if you can go outside and call from a payphone which in this way, the call can't be traced to you. :D


    yup. it's very harsh. the rules are very clear. once the mobile goes off, it's kaputz time. in fact, before the start of the game, the TD (Bill Gletsos in this case) always informed everyone to turn off their mobiles before the commencement of their games. everybody in the room knows the rules.

  5. i had the CD of the music to Fight Club in my Saab, and listened to the forth song only for sixth months. im serious. damn. instense movie.

  6. Ah yes the social pariah that is the cell phone! In NY everyone seems to have one of those chirp chirp phones, you know the nextels. And apparently there are far more doctors in NY than I was ever aware of. I mean practically everyone is on their phone ALL OF THE TIME!

    What used to piss me off is the folks on the train or bus who are talking to one of their friends that they see everyday and start talking about nothing.

    "What's up"
    Pause for the other person to talk

    "Me, nothing you know, taking the train home."

    "You know probably get something to eat, and watch (insert inane absurd "reality" show title here)"

    "Yeah I know how about when..."

    You get the idea, talking about absolutely nothing. WHY! It pisses me off ot no end. I have a cell phone. Two actually one for work and one personal, but I'm not attached to either.

  7. The worst thing about cell phones is this: there are times when I want to be unavailable. The best remedy is to forget to charge your phone.