Last night I had a layover in Las Vegas. My flight, already a redeye, was badly delayed. The boarding area near my gate was impossibly crowded. The woman behind me said to someone else "you think I'm Bulgarian? I'm only half Bulgarian".
I read J.C. Hallman's "The Chess Artist", a good book about the "otherness" of chess.
At first, I thought he was just going to be retailing all the "eccentric chessplayer" myths known to humankind. Modern chess gave him fertile soil, though, like the Republic of Kalmykia, where the local autocrat, now president of FIDE, the international chess federation, built an entire "Chess City" to convert people to the cause of chess. I forgave him the Iowa Writers Program tendency to draw deep meaning from things best rendered sans import, and ultimately decided he was a good, if wordy, egg. It was a fun read.
The only place to find a comfortable place to sit was at an elevated chair serving a "Wheel of Fortune" slot machine. I put twenty dollars in, thinking I could kill the time at the machine and have a comfortable place to sit. Then I nearly doubled my money in short order, in a flurry of dings and spinning wheels. Thirty nine dollars and fifty cents is too great a fortune to lose at slots, so I hid my talents in my wallet, and found a place on the floor to read.
I liked the part of the chess book in which the author and a master play in the museum next to Duchamp's chess art. I finished the chess book, which failed to cover anyone remotely like me or anyone else with whom I play, and began a science fiction novel. The species in the novel do a lot of linguistic kinda things, and I'm not sure I'm following it all. All those species!
We landed at 6 a.m. I was at my office by 9 a.m. I left my office, and checked out a place for a September chess tournament. The price is right, but are those narrow tables? Park Hill Prairie said it would welcome a chess tournament in the outdoors.
Maybe it is worth a try--if anyone shows up!
This weekend we go to visit my father. I'm looking forward to that. Then, because I have a court hearing on Tuesday, I go to Los Angeles. I am flying out Sunday night rather than Monday, so that I can play in an Action chess Swiss at an LA Airport Hotel on Monday.
The US Chess website indicates that from the last two tournaments this month, my rating improved a net of 6 points, to 1728. My FICS blitz rating is up to 1430, but I want to develop the consistency to get me to 1600.
I'm eager for a little hiking and perhaps fishing this weekend, nestled alongside the enjoyable visitin'. My fishing nephew is gone north to Alaska, but I will make do.