This Time I'm The Turkey
Over the weekend Missoula hosted the annual Turkey Open, which is the first event in the new chess cycle. I was looking forward to completing unfinished business from last year, when I went into the final round with a perfect score and blew it. But it wasn't to be. This year's event saw some dogged competition from determined players of all skill levels, and I was not at the top of my game for a host of reasons that would sound like excuses (which they probably are). I wound up winning only two and drawing three for a measly 3.5 points.
My games were so uninspiring that there's little purpose in sharing them, EXCEPT for this gem from Round 4. My opponent was the young and very talented Conrad Lee, who appears to have sprouted at least a foot in height since the last time I saw him. He was on a tear this tournament, having beaten one of the top seeds and drawn against THE top seed, an expert from Washington. He gave me some good-natured trash talk just as we were about to begin, daring me to play my obscure Bird's opening as I had the previous time we met. I didn't do that, but I did hand him his only loss. It's important for me to cherish these moments because in no time at all, I'm sure he'll be able to wipe the floor with me without breaking a sweat.