Individual Champ at Cherry Hill West

Jan 20, 2008, 7:28 AM |

I looked at the people and could feel something wiggling up my throat.  I knew I was nervous, and I could feel myself shivering involuntarily.  A teammate of mine, Ivan, patted my head, while some others tried to comfort me and tell me how well I was going to do.

I remember Mike telling me something that made me laugh so hard, "You came here to do two things today.  Kick @$$ and chew bubblegum.  You're all out of bubblegum, so kick @$$!"

I sat down and stared a bit before setting up my board.  My coaches had faith in me, my teammates had faith in me, so why didn't I have faith in myself?  I decided that this first game would be a warm-up, get my brain working, look at every move and make sure to attack as much as possible while having my pieces defended.  My opponent and I started the game and I immediately found myself thinking afterward...



Ok, ok, ok... for all that know me and was there...  ^_^'  you all know that it is an understatement when I say that I was a little jumpy...  I was basically hyperventilating.  Well, yesterday, I gained a bit of confidence in myself, because I got 4th place, which meant that the first individual championship where I placed 3rd  was not all beginner's luck, but skill.


It was the last round... I had won two and drew once.  I remember on Thursday, my coaches expected me to get three wins and one draw, so the only thing I could think of was to think extra hard about my next move and my opponent's next move...

He refused to give up his queen, knowing that I was ahead...  I immediately thought of a way to get rid of that meddling queen of hers.  Some adults walked by as I placed my queen where my opponent could easily take with knight.  They looked at me for a bit, but I was ready with a smile as he took the "free" queen.  I took his knight with my own and forked his queen and his king.  Afterwards, out of the ordeal, I gained a knight and a queen at the price of a queen myself. 

I sat back, relieved.  I knew he'd take with knight because if he hadn't, it would have been mate, so I decided to take a chance and gamble... 

I walked out of the match victorious... after I completely obliterated him.  I felt a bit evil because i wanted to prolong his suffering, but I decided not to.  I was able to reach my coaches expectations and I felt extremely happy.  (It turns out they expected 3.5 points out of FIVE matches and yesterday, due to budget cuts, there were only FOUR matches)


I was happy.


"We would like to thank Dave Jungblut!"  All that I could do when I heard this was squeal in delight and cheer him on as he went on stage. 

"SPEECH!  SPEECH!  SPEECH!!!"  I wanted him to make a speech!  ^_^  He deserved it!  I just kept on screaming and applauding my chess coach.  It made me wish that Mr. Rachiele could go up too. 

As the awards went on, I started feeling a bit wary...  I didn't really want to go up on stage...

"And coming in in 4th place, Alice Hu!"  I could feel my cheeks heat up a bit before I started running toward the stage.  When I got up there, all I could think about was screaming, "GO OAKCREST!!!"  (which I did, by the way...  -///-')

I remember afterward, Oakcrest was called for placing 5th and I felt a bit embarassed to go up there again... After taking a picture of the chess team, I wanted to scream again.... and I did... again.... (This time, "OAKCREST ROCKIN' THE HOUSE, YO!!!)

Other than the fact that I basically... embarassed the team... it was a peaceful trip home and I felt a little better about myself while I was talking with the coaches on  bus...


All that's left to say is that, overall, I felt better about myself, and proud of the team.  GO OAKCREST!!!