Blog # 10 - Day 9 – Sunday, July 27 – The Day After

NOTE

1. This blog is duplicate posted: a) on the FQE Canadian Open website ("Follow the tournament"); b) on the CMA Chesstalk. But the FQE website has the great advantage that it includes a game-viewer. So my Rd. 2 game, and that of Mario’s, that are in the text, can be immediately played over. The URL for the blog there is: http://echecsmontreal.ca/co/suivre_en.html .
2. The advantage of the Chesstalk site, is that there is capacity for anyone to comment and discuss any CO matters. The URL is:
http://www.chesstalk.info/forum/forumdisplay.php?2-ChessTalk

Starting the Day Off Right – Wee Hours of the Morning

After midnight Sunday, after playing Rd. 9, and then driving 6 hrs. from Montreal to Toronto, I continued work on the draft Blog # 9 (covering Saturday), but was too tired to get far. I went to bed early, for me – 12:30 AM.

Mid-Morning Sunday

I awoke at 6:00 AM – not bad – 5 ½ hrs. sleep. I then finished Blog # 9 and sent it to FQE (Roman) and posted it on Chesstalk. Then I started to analyze my Rd. 9 Game (which, initially, I decided was not of blog quality, and so I omitted it – it will show up in due course, though, on Chess5).
I imagine the viewer is fine with me no longer giving the minutiae of my existence in my blog, since the tournament is now over. I hope you are not in withdrawal after 8 days of the Bob & Mario show!  So the torture, in that respect is concluded. But……..

Some Thoughts on My 8th Canadian Open (of the 9 consecutive, the last 9 years)
1. A Great Chess Holiday – Nothing can beat a good 8-day stretch playing officially rated chess! Well…I guess sex gives it a good race :) . My roommate from north of Toronto, with whom I’ve now travelled to a number of Canadian Opens, Mario Moran-Venegas, and I, had fun hanging out together. We had our laptops each set up on a table in the room alcove, and we happily worked away, as if it might be Santa’s workshop. We discussed all kinds of theoretical chess questions (equivalent of how many angels dance on the head of a pin)….I don’t find all that many willing to “waste” time on this! And I met a number of chess friends who I only see this one time per year. And the tournament was generally excellently run and enjoyable (A few glitches initially with my U 2000 section for the early rounds, which was a bit frustrating). And being in Montreal is always a treat (my two adult children have resided in Montreal for years now – got to spend an afternoon lunch with each of them, Tuesday and Wednesday - nice).

2. My 2014 Canadian Open U 2000 Blog – When FQE first contacted me about doing the blog for them, I was quite delighted. I have enjoyed doing my Canadian Open Blogs over the last three years (I think I’ve done it three times now, with one being a Toronto International, instead of the CO that year), and gotten very positive feedback. And in prior years, I had about 500 views per day on my 8-10 blogs. But I did not anticipate being asked to do it….that was a nice compliment that I readily accepted. And they threw in free tournament entry fee and playing up fee. That was a nice little perk for doing something I enjoy doing, and likely would have done anyway, though perhaps only on CMA’s Chesstalk, as in prior years. The offer that my blog would go on the FQE’s official CO Website was a new feature that I liked. They also offered me tech support from their staff for the CYCC & CO, Roman Sarazzin-Gendron. He would post, and for the first time, I was going to introduce pictures from my own gallery, or taken on site. But the real clincher for me doing it, was the offer that any games would be in the blog as a gameviewer. This was the icing on the cake. FQE was raising the bar for my CO Blogs. The only unfortunate thing was that the FQE format had no “commenting” capacity. And this I see as a major element of my blogging. So FQE kindly agreed for me to “duplicate post” on CMA’s Chesstalk, as in prior years. It has commenting capacity, and I have had lots of participation in prior years. But I made a point of having an FQE referral right at the top of my CMA-posted blog, noting that viewers should go to the FQE site, to access the gameviewer!
I initially advised that my French was not good (though in highschool, I was not bad and had gone on a student exchange to Lac St. Jean (? Got that right?), and gotten by in French fine). I could not do a translation into French. They said they didn’t have the resources, but English alone was fine…their hope was that the blog would attract English Canada, and thus the FQE would raise its visibility outside of Quebec. This, I think we accomplished. The 2014 Blog seemed very well received from the numerous times I received positive feedback. And this year, I exceeded the viewership of previous years…I had run at 500 views per day. This year……a full 600 views per day! I hope that we have significantly, by our joint effort, substantially put FQE now, on the English radar! And I  much appreciated a little end of tournament gift FQE gave me – a credit for one of the hotel restaurants. It was sufficient that Mario and I were able to have a very nice lunch on our 2nd last day of the tournament.

3. My Chess: Well, I must admit to a bit of disappointment here. I had hoped to do better. But I found that I was playing, in my view, subpar for the whole tournament. Generally it was not terrible. But while playing a peer opponent, if they were on their game, and I was below mine, I just got incrementally farther and farther behind as the game went on. And in many games this advantage got converted into an extra P. I’d fight like crazy for many moves more and slow its advance, but eventually it would get there and I’d have to sac to stop it queening. And then I could resign. I ended with 2 wins, 6 losses, and 1 forfeit win (against a player wrongly paired, since he had in fact withdrawn from the tournament in the round before).
But there is more to this for me than winning (though I do like to do that too from time to time! ) I just love to play tournament chess (in fact, I am now not very big on casual chess). I like to be challenged to use all my ability (such as it may be) to be the best I can be. It is for me more a personal challenge, than an opponent challenge. As I said, is there a better way to spend 6 hours than working your proverbial off, trying to play a game you only dimly understand, and becoming totally exhausted by the effort? FUN, FUN, FUN (though the world does think us crazy). It is the process being successful and satisfying, more than the result, which of course I am also playing for. From this point of view, my subpar performance, still generated sufficient effort and fun (positions were often quite interesting, or complicated), that I enjoyed the games. Can’t ask for much more (except winning a game or two more :) ).

So, in conclusion, thanks to FQE, their staff (volunteer and paid), the organizing team, and the other volunteers, who help with myriads of things/minute details so that an effort like this succeeds. It was a very memorable 2014 Canadian Open, upholding the record I’ve now had over many years at Canadian Opens, of enjoying good chess and having a great holiday. Thanks again!
Bob Armstrong, the Satisfied Blogger :)