2014 MCA Randallstown Scholastic, Varsity Section
I arrived at the tournament in a mist of confusion. Where was the playing hall? Where was the skittles room? All I saw was a mass of small asian children. And then I saw someone I knew. His name was Jay Dipietro. He and I used to play blitz together back when we were both 1100, but we hadn't seen each other in nine months. "Jay!" I shouted. He didn't hear me. All of a sudden he was gone. The crowd had claimed another victim. I dove in head first. I would not desert my friend. Suddenly, the crowd dispersed. Jay was gone.
I took in my surroundings. There were four hallways around me. I flipped a coin and headed down the one to my right. This hallway was dark, dreary, and deserted. Suddenly, the hallway forked. To the right or to the left? I looked for a sign but found none. My gut told that the right hand way was correct, but the halls whispered that the left way was the right choice. Without warning, there was a tap on my shoulder. I swiftly turned around and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw who it was. Nathan Janus, a newbie to chess but a strong starter. We had played at a tournament in September where I had handily beaten him. He offered to show me around and I gratefully accepted. We started off down the right hand hall, but it soon became apparent that Nathan was just as lost as I. He kept reassuring me that the skittles room was just ahead, but as we kept turning corners I became more and more skeptical. We turned the "final corner", and it was a dead end.
I realized that it was up to me to get us out of here. I sensed that we had missed an entrance further back and I gestured for him to follow me. Sure enough, my GPS like navigational system did not fail me. I led our expedition to the nearest safe haven, the skittles room. Once inside, I sensed a hostile glare. I glanced at the inhabitants. Sure as can be, there was Quil Kibak, my mortal enemy. As we locked eyes, he glowered at me and I swear he gave off a loud snarl. He raised his head and howled. The rest of his pack came rushing to his side. Nassim Bin Ladin, William Hitler and Kevin Manson. Kevin Manson handed their leader Quil Kibak a box of pizza. They all proceeded to stuff their faces with the unhealthy junk. I backed away quietly as not to upset them. I was sure there was a skittles room that was not full of treacherous wolves. I gestured for Nathan to follow as I walked up the hall. On my right I heard the sounds of frendship and joy.
I entered the room and was delighted to see Jay. I started to walk over but before I had reached him the cry went out. "THE PAIRINGS ARE UP!" All of a sudden, the seemingly docile crowd underwent a sudden change. There was a mad stampede toward the door, and me. I feared for my life. "NATHAN, FOLLOW ME!" I cried. The crowd swept us along to the pairings sheet. As I cruised by, I glanced and saw my board number but I was unable to see my opponents name. I cleared my mind and just thought of the number. Board 2. The crowd's fervor dimmed as people reached their tables. By the time I got to board 17 I was walking of my own accord. I deposited my paraphernalia including 3 one liter water bottles. As I settled in to wait for my opponent, I briefly closed my eyes. I opened my eyes to Quil Kibak! He was on my board! He was my opponent!
G90 inc. 30
From Move 37.
I dart away from the board! There must be a restroom somewhere around here! I get to the split in the hallway and sprint left! People are staring. I continue my run. I round corners. I run up stairs. I run through an outdoor market. I run through a church service! The whole congregation looks disapprovingly. Whoosh! I'm back in the school! I spy a water fountain! Everyone knows that water fountains = restrooms nearby! There it is! I do my buisness and then, for the first time in 5 five years, I must admit. I didn't wash my hands. I know that most of you will never look at me the same way again, but I still had to say it. I didn't wash my hands. I dart out of the bathroom! I run through the church service! I run down the stairs. People are cheering me on! The tournament hall is just ahead! Will I make it? I run in! I still have 45 seconds on my clock! I sit down.
Back to game move 38.
The impossible has happened! I have beaten the wolf! I celebrate, but my celebration is short. As soon as I get back to the skittles room, pairings are announced again. I have no time for respite. I must continue my battle. As I walked behind the bustling crowd I felt faint. Maybe it was the stress of the game or maybe it was the stress of the run, but at any rate, I felt sick to my stomach. I briefly considered puking in a trash can by the side of the hallway. I tossed it out as a bad idea and came to the conclusion that I was not thinking clearly. I decided to buy a couple slices of moldy pizza from a shady stand at the side of the hallway. They charged me two dollars a slice but I was too sick to put up a fight. I lurched to my board and faced my opponent. Oh great, just what I needed. I difficult opponent and long time rival. Douglas Malcom stared at me from across the board. His indimidating smile struck fear into my heart. Suppressimg the urge to resign, I gulped down a piece of the moldy pizza and promptly gagged. He hit the clock and the game started.
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