Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fire off Board

At the 15th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival this weekend, I had a pleasant chat with Carey's wife Christine (Carey was absent, fortifying the Ramparts against Rocking and strengthening the Barricades against Storming). At the festival, I think I also caught sight of Brian Salomon, on whom I doubt I made much of an impression in 2008, when I blundered on move 7 and rapidly lost a miniature to him.

Christine mentioned the 2007 fire incident at the club, for which I was not present. I thought back to a fire alarm during my 1987 Thursday Night Swiss game against the very pleasant and friendly Expert Brad Ryan, back when the club was located at the Y.M.C.U. in Boston. Reviewing my scoresheet, I see that my memory of the timing of events was faulty.

The fire alarm sounded after move 10, far earlier than I thought, so it was not while Brad and I were outside, waiting to be let back into the building, that he asked me, "I think our position at point X was pretty even, don't you think?" He must have asked me that during the post-mortem.

Demonstrating my fine lack of chess understanding (or perhaps, my lack of fine chess understanding), my gut reaction was, "Are you kidding me? At point X, I had an extra pawn!", but I think I was rather less committal and rather more diplomatic in my reply.

Brad cleaned my clock in that game, and I was obliged to accept that a paltry extra pawn does not winneth a game (or is that a Paltrow extra pawn does not Gwyneth a game?).

I was probably playing another of my numerous rated games during a fire alarm, but no other incidents come to mind. Anyone have a memorable mid-game fire alarm tale? (I suggest avoiding replays of the 2007 club incident described above, unless they add meaningfully to the original post.)

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