Individual Champ at Cherry Hill West
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...
WHAT OPENING AM I GOING TO PLAY?!?!?
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!!!