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Western States Open - Early Day 1

  • jay
  • | Oct 23, 2009 at 11:41 AM
  • | Posted in: jay's Blog
  • | 2843 reads
  • | 12 comments

Woke up at 6:45am this morning, finished packing, got the kids ready, picked up my father-in-law, and headed to the airport to catch a 9:25am flight. Always a little bitter-sweet saying good bye to the kids, knowing you're gonna miss them, but also looking forward to the few hours of complete freedom and lack of responsibility that lies ahead.

Airport wasn't too bad, and I just started reading a new book. It's GREAT! I was laughing so hard, I just have to recommend it, its called, "a Walk in the Woods". Great great book!

Was just able to catch the hotel shuttle, literally, I was running after it yelling. Right when I got into the large white van, the first words of conversation I heard coming from the back of the bus was, "I just played him the other day, and asked him how he found that move, and he said the computer recommended it." Ah....the familiar chat of fellow chess players. Good to be "home".

 

Met up with Erik in the weight room (wow he's looking trim these days after a couple months on the p90x diet/routine), got my roomkey and headed for the elevators. After several tech support phone calls with the local wireless provider here at the Sands Regency, finally got onto the internet. Erik and I are here to observer, promote, enjoy, and possibly throw in a little bit of poker as well.

Just walking down the halls here gives me some very nostalgic feelings. I flew here by myself when I was just 16 years old, a senior in high school, to play in the very same tournament, back in 1994. Wow, that was a long time ago, when the internet was still a pretty novel concept. How times have changed.

However, this hotel, the carpets, and especially the smells, have not. Musty old smell mixed with the cigarette smoke and the faint body odor of people who clearly don't believe in deoderant seem oddly pleasant to me. This very same hotel is where I once spent 8 hours straight as a teenager, playing craps until 4am. Thats not why I enjoy the smoke and smells though.

 

I have realized that these normally repulsing smells remind me of grinding it out at a chess board for hours, hoping to crush my opponents and create a masterpiece on the chessboard. I love how the hours pass by like minutes. I love the competition and the intense silence and hushed wispers. I love the chess player scowl as two players analyze and discuss their game in the main hall after its over instead of properly moving to the skittles room. I love the crowd that gathers around the newly posted pairings boards, scanning for their board number and opponent, and the eager anticipation of a hard fought battle in the near future. I love the longing for your opponent to play into all your hours of opening preparation. I love being in the presence of greatness as Grandmasters stroll around the room no doubt deeply in thought about their current position.

 

I LOVE CHESS TOURNAMENTS!

Gonna go downstairs and find some food...the tomato juice with no ice on the southwest flight wasn't quite enough to carry me through the day, and I turned down the peanuts...what ever happened to those sugary honey roasted ones?

Comments


  • 5 years ago

    jay

    Unfortunately I can't get through his "a short history of nearly everything"...wow...kinda a snoozer, but hey, its a book of history and science. :)

  • 5 years ago

    phrage

    Bryson is a gifted writer -his travel accounts of Europe Britain and Australia  are  laugh out loud funny and his etymological book erudite  

  • 5 years ago

    kohai

    About time you guys had some time off to have some fun :)  Glad to hear you did

  • 5 years ago

    zankfrappa

         Actually Jay, golf, poker, and good restaurants are absolutely what everyone wants to hear about, isn't that the point of going to Reno?  My life is not exactly
    like James Bond these days, but at least you all are having fun.

  • 5 years ago

    jay

    Well, unfortunately Erik and I spent the rest of our time in Reno doing everything EXCEPT watching the chess tournament. :)  And I don't think many people want to read about the restaurants we ate at, the gambling, or the round of golf we played, so unfortunately there won't be a part 2. Glad you guys all enjoyed part 1 though!

  • 5 years ago

    zankfrappa

          Send us more updates, this was a fun article.  I would also like an update
    from David Pruess and the tournament in France if you all have one. 
          I live in Virginia and have hiked some of that trail, it is especially nice in
    Autumn.
          I think they stopped serving those peanuts because some people have
    serious allergies and those type spread crumbs.

  • 5 years ago

    Crazychessplaya

    Yes, Bill Bryson is great in "A Walk in the Woods."  A much lighter reading than "A Short History of Nearly Everything", which I did not finish reading (yet).

  • 5 years ago

    FM charlesgalofre

    sugary honey roasted were not compatible with the rising diabetic population so they decided to bank on plain and stale :)

  • 5 years ago

    EternalChess

    Great blog!

    Update more soon!

  • 5 years ago

    Vooruitgang

    Don't forget Jerry Weikel running around like a chicken with his head cut off!

  • 5 years ago

    Patzer24

    Great insight, have fun guys!

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