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The Art of Excuses

The Art of Excuses

Apr 25, 2013, 8:28 AM 21

The Grandfather of the chess wisdom Saviely Tartakower once wished that he would be able to win a game against a totally healthy man. It appeared that anytime he had won one (which he actually did quite regularly) his opponents appeared to be suffering of something.
After four rounds of the Cork Chess Congress I was in the Excuse-Search-Mode. Desperately. I have just lost a game against Simon Williams, an endgame a pawn down but with opposite colored bishops on the board. It was one of those positions which one considers easy to hold when looking outside the board, and devilishly unpleasant to defend over the board. Taking into an account the draw that I made in the previous round the chances of a price seemed already gone.
Well, I thought, my headaches are good excuses. Right, but they are something which I always have throughout the tournaments. And it did not prevent me from winning an important game at the last Cork Congress.
I’ve been rusty, did not play for a long time? True, but this happens to everyone. Have a look at Alex (Baburin) who plays very seldom at the Irish events and is a whole point ahead of you.
Then, you know, the toe of my right leg aches. I even went to the Doctor for that.
You know what, I said to myself, if we continue this way I might end up with a recommendation of head amputation for stupidity.
Let me try first to win my two remaining games and think again about the excuses then.
It actually appeared not that bad as I managed to win both of them:

The top board that day finished a draw. Alex Baburin was half a point behind Simon Williams and everyone was surprised seeing him call it a day in a playable position with good chances for an advantage. The Englishman won the tournament, Baburin came second, I took third.
However, I was most proud of Michael Bradley, who scored 5/6 at the major tournament to share the second place! Fionn O'Neil won this section, and Padraig Sheehy won the minor section with 6/6.

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