- Tournament #2 : Phi Kappa Blanca, 9/26/89
- North Carolina State University Student Union, Raleigh, NC
- TD: Robert Singletary
- Section: U1400
- Time Control: 40/90, G/30
It would be over a year before I would play my second tournament. I was very lucky that my parents were trusting enough to allow me to drive into Raleigh at 16 and play in these things. I would play, by far, more tournaments and games in this series than any other. I look back at these tournaments with a great deal of fondness and even some regret over the fact that those days are long gone. If I ever had a "home court", it was that room on the 3rd floor of the NC State Student Union. These tournaments were also run by Robert and the name of this tournament was combined play on the name of former world champion Jose Cappablanca and the nickname of Houston's starting 5 (NC State's opponent in the 1983 NCAA Championship Game), Phi Slamma Jamma.
My introduction to the Phi Kappa Blanka series was memorable in another way. I am typically one who likes to arrive to a tournament as soon as registration opens. Especially when it's a site I've never visited. Running behind, or even the threat of it causes undue stress and influences my game. I like to arrive early and relax before the first round begins. Anyway, I had gotten there super early and found the tournament room on the Student Union's directory. There was an open area outside the room with some chairs, so I sat and waited for someone to arrive. When Robert arrived, he had difficulty getting into the room. Not because the door was locked, but it appeared that it had been damaged to the point that it wouldn't open. The damage was bad enough that our first round had to be moved to another room while the facilities guys made the necessary repairs. We later found out that on the previous night, our room had hosted one of the press conferences involving former AD and basketball coach Jim Valvano during the scandal that lead to his eventual resignation a few weeks later and....well lets just say that he had taken his frustrations out on that poor door, LOL!
It was not long after I started playing here that I was invited to join the Raleigh Chess Club. I would play there most Fridays throughout the 90's and even got my start as a tournament director running a few of the monthly blitz tournaments.
While compiling my records, I managed to come across, what I thought were my missing games from this tournament.
Game #4, Round 1
Brian was a very interesting character, to say the least. Not long after we met, I remember he openly admitted to me that he was a sand bagger. He would play these $8 tournaments to keep his rating below 1400, then go play a big money tournament and try to cash out. I don't really know if he did this and his tournament history certainly didn't seem to indicate it, but I always found it odd that he was so open about it. Overall, he was a nice guy, but the competitive side of me always held him in contempt.
It took 5 games, but I did finally win one, and did so in style. Both my first win and first loss were brutal miniatures.
Game #5, Round 2
Game #6, Round 3
While I won't really be able to track my rating until I get into the USCF's available online records, I do remember that my 1st provisional rating was 975.
Recap: +1 =0 -2
Rating: UNR -> 0975/6
Total: +1 =0 -5