Snow Day

Rain is much better for Chess than hot, sunny days. – Bent Larsen

Colorado Front Range 2015-12-15 near the summit of Monument Hill under a foot of snow.

Colorado Front Range 2015-12-15 near the summit of Monument Hill under a foot of snow.

Larsen was speaking of the Korchnoi-Karpov match, held in tropical Baguio City, 1978. Snow, on the other hand, is not so good for Chess.

When I arrived at the Denver Chess Club last night, the round had been cancelled due to snow. There were mutterings from those who had braved the weather, but with KOAA reporting 100+ cars trapped on I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs on Monument Hill (7,343 ft. / 2238 m.) it was hard to insist that the tournament leader, Daniel Herman, attend from the Springs.

Moi, however, struggling under the burden of artistic distraction I described last week, had skidded in from the Foothills past a few serious accidents on the roadway to see if I could focus at last on Chess. Stimulated by a breakthrough in my software development, deriving my quotient of creative satisfaction therefrom,  the past weeks had not been notable for Chess accuracy.

The final round of our two-month end-of-year tourney being postponed, I sat down with equally rated Jesse Hester for some blitz Chess. In he first two games I played terribly, acing the openings but blundering tactically in childlike fashion. I lost the third game, won the fourth, and about then my Inner Beast awoke.

Suddenly, there was nothing but the position and every nuance was clear and in focus. Game after game I pounded my startled opponent, who mostly flagged out for the rest of our match, with the exception of being checkmated twice.

When we finally put up the pieces and wandered over to chat with the DCC Board of Directors (who being present had taken advantage of the cancellation to hold a board meeting), kidder-in-chief LM Brian Douglas Wall cast about for a means to rib me. He inquired after my play from my opponent.

“Well,” said the frank Mr. Hester, “When we started I thought he was a 1600 player, and by the end I was convinced he was in the 2200’s.”

Having to fight so hard to attend, only to be deprived of my round, I was determined not to go home a loser. So perhaps snow isn’t so bad for chess after all.

Jacques Delaguerre