Railways, marathons and blunders: Playing in the Fifth League
Mar 27, 2011, 12:39 PM 0
The spring has come and the League has begun. After the first three rounds of the 5th Croatian leagues have been played, my team, the glorious chess club "Contrada", is still without a victory (we had a bye in the First round, so we do have points, woot!). Last Sunday we had played away from home, against "Vrbovec". We may have lost 5-1, but it's the trip that counts, not the destination. Seriously.
We met at 7.30 in front of the railway station (those of us who weren't late, at least) and proceeded to buy a ticket for the 8.04 train to Vrbovec. However, the sailsperson refused to sell us tickets, justfying his lack of cooperation with a claim that that train doesn't travel on Sunday. We protested that we have seen, on railway company's own website no less, that on March 20th that train will go to Vrbovec, but the salespeson was adamant and directed us to take our questions to the lady who was sitting under a sign on which (for reasons that will forever remain a mystery to me) someone has written 'INFORMATIONS'. The lady was hard and unmoven by our plight: "It's Sunday, so no train for you!"
It was around 8 AM already and our match was strating in 10 AM. On our way out we met our teammate Marko Rebac, who immidetly made up for being late by pointing out that a) the big board says that that there is a 8.04 train bound for Koprivnica and b) a train for Koprivnica must pass through Vrbovec. While my teammates we sprinting towards the train, I went back to the desINFORMATION lady who flatly confirmed that the 8.04 train will indeed stop in Vrbovec (she seemed annoyed that we have seen through her practical joke). We ran as swiftly as a wind, and managed to board the train. However, after train failed to move for 15 minutes, Tomo Damjanovic noticed that the train isn't moving and there seems to be no other passangers, which led us to question whether we are on the right train. We weren't.
So, we left the railway station, defeated by the railway company's brilliant schemes designed to avoid having to carry passangers all around the country. However, our spirits remained unbroken! In a brilliant display of ingenuity and haggling, Tomo and Marko managed to convince a minivan driving cabby to take the six of us to Vrbovec for 50 euros. On the way there we have been temporarily slowed by Zagreb-Cazma Marathon (another proof that Universe itself didn't want us to make it on time) but we still managed to make it on time. And then we lost 5-1, but Marko Sostar managed to get his name into the history books by being the first player to score a victory for "Contrada" chess club!
This Sunday we were hosting the team "Samobor 2". We lost again, 3.5-2.5, but the games were mostly nail-biters (with an exception of Tomo's game, in which he crushed Samobor's first board play in under 30 moves). As for my own game...well, it has been interesting, that must be said for it. I would say more, but I don't want to spoil the ending, so here it is.
Yup, there is luck in chess, even for people who manage to play idiotic moves like 62. ... g3 (seriously, I should have been tested for drugs after playing that move!). I guess the only lesson that can be learned from this game is: it take just one move to destroy 4 hours of hard work so concentrate 'till the end.