The Ironman in Cave City

Oct 18, 2008, 9:30 AM |

Bloggin' from the home of the Legendary Georgia Ironman today. Tim left Thursday evening for the Indiana state championship in Logansport. He will go a great distance for a standard, 40/2; SD/1, time limit! I am left back here, holding down the fort and giving updates on the world championship match when the Ironman calls. After dropping Aunt Millie off with relatives in the great state of Tennessee, he stopped in Cave City, Kentucky, for the night.
When the phone rang the next morning, I knew it had to be Tim, ready for an update. Unfortunately, I had overslept! I was graciously allowed a quarter hour to get my head together before his return call. By then I had booted up ICC and had Mig and Jan Gustafsson spouting out variations faster that I could keep up with them! The excitement in their voices was palpable; it was obvious something extraordinary was happening...
Tim had his travel set ready to go as I relayed the moves up to that point in the game. After seeing the position after Vishy had taken with the g-pawn, the Ironman shouted, "It's like a fighting Kann, Bacon!" That is was, and Anand had the open g-file with which to work. The excitement in the voice of the Ironman was also palpable!
While awaiting the moves, we reminisced about all the other world championships we've followed. He mentioned getting the USA TODAY the day after the game and going over it with his friend, dubious Dave; while I talked of going by one of the hotels in Buckhead early in the morning (or real late at night, depending on how one looks at it) to buy a copy of the NYTimes to play over the moves while sitting in my Buckhead Safety Cab! As fans of chess, we know all too well that any world championship match is special.
Tim had to pack, telling me he would call just before he left to get one more update. When he called, I was informed he had his laptop up and running and intended on putting the moves into CHESSBASE.
The next call was from a Ponderosa Steak House. By then the outcome was known, so I asked if he wanted the moves, or the result. "I'm hungry, man, so just tell me the result."
In my best Howard Cosell imitation, I yelled, "Down goes Kramnik! Down goes Kramnik!" From the phone I heard, "Kramnik goes down! Kramnik goes down!"
Expecting to hear from the road warrior long before I did, I'll admit to more than a little worry. When the call came, the news was that it had taken him much longer to arrive at his destination than he figured, and he had gone by the TD room to find that he was the only one entered into the Friday night 3-day schedule! To make it worse, the TD had actually told him that he may have to play in the quick first round game in the morning! The Ironman was not a happy camper, let me tell you.
The next call was a few hours later. They had managed to get eight players for the Friday night round in the open section, so Tim had played. Unfortunately, he lost. The phone call was a Joe Friday call-Just the facts.
As I sit here, the Saturday fourth game is finished. It was a draw, with none of the excitement of yesterday's game. And I've not heard from the Ironman. It's tough on the road...