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As I said yesterday in some post that I already lost in the deep sea of the forum, I visited this evening (and I actually just came from) the Argentinean Chess Club. I went there to see what they're up to, and I was pleased with surprise.
For those who know Buenos Aires, it is in Paraway St Number 1858, Paraway st. and Callao av., a nice neighborhood in which you don't wanna find yourself at 3 o'clock in the morning all by yourself, but still a nice neighborhood and just one block away from life in case you need to run (Buenos Aires is like this, one block it's all fine, the next block you're screwed...)
Actually I have to be nicer, the place is like 3 blocks away from the Medicine University of Buenos Aires and 4 of the National Conservatory of Music (of which I am former student). There is a park near by, and the first thing you see (actually its door is quite hidden at night) is a huge wooden door entry.
From here on, I apologize for my lack of English words related to architecture, I'm just blank there. May be I just say that I felt quite at home since the environment is very cozy, the temperature is warm (I actually had to take off my matrix style coat) and the style is that very same style of building my former conservatory is: People who know say it's a French pettit hotel, high walled rooms with strips of wood across the middle (?), nice and wide dark wooded doors and stairs.
The place has a nice entrance at which I've read of some courses that I will be taking and tournaments almost every day. As I read in some other post which I also lost, I was happy to see that the place is stuffed until the roof of chess sets and digital clocks (some were analogical actually) so you don't have to bring your own stuff and tournaments are ridiculously cheap (I've read nothing about their prizes anyway, since I don't plan to win any anytime soon...)
Door to my left, they have another big room with some panels and stairs to the coffee shop, which I skipped. I went directly to the secretary, in which a grand master looking old fat guy was discussing some stuff. I patiently waited and faced the beautiful woman at the desk. I said:
- "Hi, I just knew this place existed. Tell me all about it!"
At first she looked kinda scared... May be I needed a hair cut that evening, who knows...
- "Well... This is a chess club..."
"Sweet ", I thought...
She later explained me all (or very little) about courses, memberships, tournaments... They have a library behind the entrance room (another door at my right) with pictures of many Grand Masters with names beneath them (but Karpov didn't look at all like Karpov, not to talk about an 18 years old Kasparov picture...!), and even farther behind there is a wide saloon in which tournaments take place.
The big room felt a little intimidating at first since a lot of people noticed me and tried to look at me without me realizing, which they didn't succeed... Some guy welcomed me, told me to be quiet upon my question "how to be here without bothering anyone???" and to feel free to walk around the place. That guy turned out to be the tournament organizer which, with a stone age computer, paired up the rounds and talked through a microphone about the outcome of the thing...
Paradoxically, the place has a sense of order and chaos at the same time since all the tables are carefully lay out, all having an official class chess board printed (?) on them with All staunton style beautiful chess sets, but all of them (the tables and chairs, not the boards and pieces) were of different colors, sizes, ages and types of wood.
The tournament soon started. 15 min per side rapid chess games were played and I had fun watching some very good games, and honestly, some other not so good, were important moves were missing and games were needlessly lost. In the beginning I was the only spectator and I felt uncomfortable again, but I later concentrated in a very tough game (since winners and good players seem to get closer to the #1 and #2 tables) between two young players, a guy and a lady, which ended up in the lady (for me, better) loosing the game on time, when the guy had only 15 seconds of time left. I tell you, those last 60 seconds were intimidating, a lot of people gathered around and I finally felt pert of a "public" for the first time.
Dinner started to call me, I got hungry and went home happy. I will be back, for sure.
Chess is about beauty.
Thank you all, it's my pleasure!
I will keep writing as long as my schedule allows me (which means "yes!"). :-D
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