A few moments from Monday's fire incident at the club:
- When the woman (who turned out to be Carey's fiancée, Christine) burst into the club and yelled "Fire!", several people looked up from their games and had the same reaction -- "Shhhhh!", they exclaimed.
- My first thought was that this had something to do with the experimental theatre group that meets across the hall. You know, as a warm up exercise, they told someone to run across the hall, yell "Fire!" and see how the audience would react.
- Whether it was bravery, curiosity, or lack of common sense, the first handful of people who left the club headed directly for the Grey2K office. After the door was opened and smoke began rushing out, they quickly hurried back down the hallway.
- Timing is everything... It couldn't have been ten seconds between Walter's draw offer and the first shout of "Fire!" from Christine. What choice did Carey have but to accept?
- Before getting up from the board, I stopped my clock. I was on move at the time, after all. Later, I discovered that my opponent had been even more diligent, recording the clock times on his scoresheet. He was up a pawn at the time, after all.
- While we were waiting outside near the back of the building, a woman walking two dogs came by to see what was happening. Alex Cherniack told her about the fire and how our chess games had been interrupted in midstream. "That's all right," she said, "You're probably losing anyway." "Not yet," Alex replied. It turns out, the lady was right.
In a more serious vein, Carey sent a note of appreciation to the club (which I hope he doesn't mind my reposting here):
Friends:I want you to know how grateful I am for your support last night. Many players ran down to our office with me to try to help when the small fire occurred.Also, several Championship and Hauptturnier players were gracious to Christine and Zoe while we were all standing outside waiting for the firemen to do their work.We're fortunate (especially Zoe) that it wasn't more serious.Yours,Carey