Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Senior Chess: That's Old Timers, not Alzheimers.

Senior Chess: That's Old Timers not Alzheimer's

My right of passage occurred in 2003 when George Mirijanian approached me and asked if I would be interested in playing in the NEW ENGLAND SENIOR OPEN to be played in MANCHESTER, NH since I just hit that prestigious category. Coincidently, George (who won the event) and I met the first round and I was bamboozled with his Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, being mated very quickly. What was even more remarkable was that I won the Class B under prize and technically I'm still the Senior New England Class B Champ because the tournament hasn't been held since 2003.

Regardless of the prestige of being a SENIOR chess player, it comes with a lot of impedimenta. Impedimentum is the Latin word for baggage. Mother nature has it's ways of adding more and more baggage.

For instance, there comes a time when you have to get either bifocals or progressive lenses to be able to play chess and keep score at the same time. Until you experience this first hand you will not understand the tennis game neck bobbing required to swing your focal length from piece, to clock, to pencil to paper, back to board,..... thank god for digital clocks.

One time because of visual segmentation, and it's amazing it happened only once, I grabbed the wrong piece to move. This fingerfelter stunk up my good game a little bit and gave my opponent the compulsion to punish me. Funny thing was that that his response was so aggressive, that he threw the game away in what had become a kamikaze attack: Lemonade from the lemon.

You have to shout at some of us: 'I OFFER YOU A DRAW!' because we might not be able to hear the whispered "draw" offer. I know this is an inconvenience to my neighbors in the tournament hall, but I see no other way to handle this. One suggestion is perhaps the USCF could create a red bean bag like the NFL uses to appeal calls; to be handed to the opponent meaning draw offer. But maybe declines would increase the chances of assault and battery during a chess game. It's probably a bad idea.

Helen Keller, left, and her teacher Anne Sullivan play chess, in 1900.
Photo from the American Foundation for the Blind
Her play was unaffected by the aging process. More lemonade from lemons.

Slower reflexes in addition to focal length challenges make time scrambles against kids with catlike reflexes generate envy of days gone by when ...................

And even slower ambulation effects your chess because the biggest handicap is getting to and from the bathroom: Flowmax Factor.

I'm not napping, I've got you just where I want you. Yes another laimo French Defense. Just boring the crap out of you this game, waiting for you to spend all your time in the skittles room, or attack me out of the uncontrollable urge to get this game over with.

If you have any good comments because of you being, or playing against a senior player please comment.

Thank You, Mike Griffin 01/27/2009

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