I had a fun day. In blitz chess each player gets only 5 minutes to make all of his or her moves. The blitz chess touranment in the morning drew ten players, and everyone had a great time playing blitz. I divided the players into a 4 player "upper section", which played a round robin, and a 6 player "swiss system", who were paired each round based on similar scores. I did not fire up my new software for pairing, but did it the old-fashioned index cards for pairing way. As is usual, some players showed up just after the very last minute, causing me to have to revamp. Still, the tournament ran very smoothly.
I was the strongest player at the blitz, and won the blitz tournament with a score of 5 out of 6. I conceded 2 draws to weaker players,though, which actually reduced my quick rating from 1627 to 1624.
We did not have enough players to have a proper bughouse chess tournament, but 4 of us played several spirited games, switching partners as we played. Bughouse is a chess variant in which teams of 2 square off. One player on the team plays the black pieces in one game, while the team-mate plays the white pieces in a parallel game. Each piece captured may be handed off to the team-mate, who may, instead of moving, simply place the captured piece into play on the other board. This leads to hair-raising tactics as pawns and queens fly on and off boards, spirited "get me a knight! quick!" discussions
between team-mates, and calamitous and abrupt endings to wild games. We all had a great time.
I spent the lunch hour turning in the morning tournaments to the chess federation on-line,and then it was time for the afternoon event. This event, a Game/20 (i.e., each side gets 20 minutes on the clock) had a lesser turnout--6 players, not counting the fellow who showed up too late to join after play began. I ran it as a round robin tourament among all the players. My own result was 4 out of 5, which sounds pretty good, except that my rating was the highest in the group. I "dropped my back rank" to a fellow from west of Fort Worth (i.e., I failed to spot a rather elementary and ignoninious checkmate) in the middle of a somewhat worse queen and pawn endgame. He won the tournament, going undefeated, while I finished second.
I had my first experience today with a crying contestant during this afternoon event, an occupational hazard when children play. I played him in round 5, though, post-tears, and although I beat him, I complimented his effort sufficiently that he was cheerful when he left.
I lost a little money on this tournament, as the entry fees, less prizes, came to a bit less than the room rental. But it was honestly worth it, as I had great fun. I want to find a cheaper space, and run another this Summer.
I was a bit less than fully adept,with my note cards and my scrambling a bit to fill out forms. I want to be more polished next time, but part of the reason I like tournaments of 8, 12 or (as here) 16 is that it's all pretty down to earth.
Last night, when I should have been installing chess tournament software on my laptop, I was downloading Nine Inch Nails tracks which NIN made available to the world for remixing, from a site called Remix Fight Dot Org. I took the drum, guitar, and synth samples and remixed it so that the accompaniment is less like NIN and more like something vaguely electro. I eschewed worrying too much about beat-tracking,and instead treated Reznor's voice as one more sample for the mix. I like the way it came out,and I sent it off to their current contest, called a "fight". Assuming I have done it right, it will be posted there for people to hear it and vote on it. I don't see myself as much for Eurovision song contest democracy, and I don't have the mad skillz that "real remixers" have, but I have a compensating sense of fun more powerful than whole cloves in a gingerbread man. I did enjoy remixing NIN, because for some reason, though the analogy is completely mis-placed, NIN always reminds me that Bela Lugosi's dead.
Tonight we had dinner at Shady Oak BBQ with my brother and his wife. My brother, in short order, has lost dozens upon dozens of pounds, without a formal weight loss program, but through a self-guided assiduous tracking of what he eats. I like that he had so much discipline. My sister-in-law discussed some fascinating ideas with us.
We had a wonderful time. I like, too, that I can have a full dinner and wonderful discusion with my sibling and his spuose without anyone minding if the evening ends at 8 p.m. I like space sometimes, and the chance to be with people I am comfortable with and then to go home.
It is a curious thing--to win 8 chess games, lose 1, and draw 2, and feel less than fully successful, but as they say, it's not whether you win or lose, but how many rating points you lose.