Thursday, April 09, 2009

It's all in the Gummi bears

(Thanks to flickr's coffeebeans77 for the image)

In his fine book, Practical Endgame Play - beyond the basics, Glenn Flear touches on the topic of the bathroom and chess (p. 383, NQE 15-17). I suppose you might say that Topalov more than touched on that in his 2006 match with Kramnik. I'd say it's fair game for a blog entry.

It crossed my mind that Gummi bears could be a super replacement for beverages if one seeks to minimize bathroom visits during games -- our club's bathroom is two floors up. The results so far are promising....

In round 4 of the ongoing ten round Paramount tournament, I had Black against Jon Lee, who was the sole leader in our six person section at 3-0. During play, I ingested a large sloth of Gummi bears in my efforts to help ward off a potential Jon Lee "10-0" train.

As the first time control (40 moves in 2 hours) approached, I found myself in some time pressure (a "Dog Bites Man" news headline). Minutes lost for a bathroom break would certainly have endangered my search for a winning line. Thanks to the Gummi bears, however, I did not have to visit the bathroom during the game, and I brought home the point (well, the monstrous f4 knight below helped, too).

After 33...Nf4

In round 5, Harold Dondis as Black outplayed me and achieved a better game (=+, I'd say). I hoped he wasn't on track to add to his 2-0 score against me from the mid-90's, building up nemesis status.

I began chewing up Gummi bears, and things rapidly turned around (how could they not?). My concentration seemed to improve, and after 16 h3:

Harold unexpectedly played 16...Nb8?

He made that move just before leaving the room -- leaving, in all likelihood, to go to the bathroom. I replied 17 b4! winning at least a pawn. However, Harold missed the threat and played 17...cxb4??, landing in a most grizzly situation after 18 Qxc8! winning his bishop for my b-pawn (18...Rxc8 19 Rxc8+ winning back the queen).

Try some Gummi bears next game -- they're Ursa Majorly delicious!

P.S. to Mike Griffin: You're right, I do win some games...but just bearly.

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