Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Good Old Days Return...

When I arrived at the Boylston Chess club last Sunday at 9:05 AM I had no idea what was in store for me that morning. The club’s computer had crashed and I had no way to resuscitate the machine!

I called many computer-whiz peers but to no avail. I had a tournament to run that morning, and with time running short I had to turn back the clock several decades. I dug out the wall charts and pairing cards which have been long neglected in a corner of the TD cabinet, reverting back to the way tournaments were conducted in the days before computers.

As I was filling in the cards and answering the phone, the older players simply asked about the computer. As we got ready to make pairings for the first round, the younger generation asked their parents, “What are those?” referring to the cards over the tables as if I were entertaining myself by playing solitaire!

The tournament ran smoothly, but the whole time I was aware of the work that was waiting for me once it was over. When I returned home I transferred all of the data on the cards (I left the wall chart at the club) into my computer by hand and sent the report to USCF. It brought back pleasant memories after all these years…

Bernardo Iglesias


RuralRob said...

You used... paper???


Doc_Kinne said...

I'll never forget walking into the Club early that Sunday afternoon after I'd gotten done playing bells at the Arlington St. Meetinghouse. I came in and everyone was playing. I looked at the bulletin board and my mind went, "Wow, that looks like an old fashioned Wall Chart. Handwritten entries. Why is this not computer gener...OH NO!!" I rushed into the Arbiter's Room and, of course, the computer was dead.

Chris Chase and I (mainly Chris) spent the next several hours getting a replacement computer set up, and then Chris spent the next few days setting it up, installing software, and frankly doing the best tuning job I've seen in 30 years of computing. Because of his fine, fine work we only had to run this single tournament "using stone knives and bear skins."