Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chess and Meter Maids


Chess and Meter Maids

The phone rings and Bernardo Iglesias' voice is at the other end. The mass transit T Red Line has an interruption in service and there is a bus shuttle between Park & MIT stations. This is commuting death: shuttles can add an hour each way on to the commute to the club. When this occurs players south of Boston are hard pressed to make it to the BCF tournament.

Although we urban warriors prefer mass transit we adapt using Plan B which is Griffin Taxi Service (aka Dad's Taxi): I drive my car. We contact south shore players that might be interested in playing and we rendezvous at the Quincy Adams train station and carpool to Somerville. Typically Bernado and Scott Didham are passengers, in his playing days Mikhail Derazhne also occasionally went with us.

Several years ago when the BCF moved from Clarendon street in Boston, one reason why we chose Elm Street in Somerville was because of improved automobile parking as Boston parking had been getting more sparse and expensive. One of the many squares of Somerville, Davis Square, has many parking lots and on the street parking, albeit 90% of the spots have a parking meter with a two or three hour limit.

Consequently the most critical non chess factor of many players participating at a BCF tournament is to REMEMBER TO FEED THE METER! Game 60 time controls seem to have a more synchronous interval to the meter schedule, while non whole hour time controls make the task more complex. Invariably while one is decompressing after a game the last thing to come to mind is the meter; therefore you get a $30 ticket attached to your windshield. It happens to everyone sooner or later.

Somerville has some of the best looking, most persistent, madly maniacal meter maids in the world. They say chessplayers have good memories, but these meter maids are aware of the time status of all the cars parked in their responsibility; because invariably the moment you are out of time they nail you with a ticket. It always seems you are only five minutes late when you finally do remember that your other time has expired, and rush out to your car, to sadly realize you've been tagged again???

Do you have any Meter Maid or chess commuting stories?

Please Comment. Mike Griffin 09/16/2008

Highly recommended: is the new article in Chess Cafe where they are reprinting a modernized version of Paul Morphy authored articles written for the NY Ledger newspaper in 1859 to 1860: http://www.chesscafe.com/skittles/skittles.htm

Plus: How to convert your car into dad's taxi and get an ROI:

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