Man de la Maza

Monday, November 01, 2004

Chess, Barley & Hops

Saturday night. Been helping my in-laws move all day (who incidentally have more paintings than the MOMA). Crack a beer. Reheat some beef stew. Crack another beer (Foster's Oil can!) Ahhhhhh! Nothing to do but put my feet up and reeelax for a few. Nothing except ...


Whoops, forgot about that. Well, musn't ruin the schedule. Boot up the laptop and go to work.

I have always been dissappointed that chess does not mix particularly well with beer drinking. Doing chess problems seems to be an exception. I have been steadily getting better at the problems to the point where about half of the level 20's seem trivial, but they usually take me a little over an hour. I usually get 85% right. Freed from conventional concerns (like defense), I am a patzer on fire! Monarchs fall before me as I sacrifice rooks with wild abandon. When stumped, I throw my good lady queen into the nearest pawn. Though we string up victory after victory, my army starts to grumble. In my twenty-second battle, I'm pretty sure I hear the king's bishop refer to me as "The Butcher". As punishment, I sacrifice him first and seize all the abbeys in his diocese. I am invincible. All who oppose me are crushed beneath my sandled feet.

I solve all 29 problems in under 40 minutes without a single error. My performance rating is that of an International Master.

Perhaps my chess difficulties lie in insufficient alcohol intake. The problem of winning tournament games now just becomes how to achieve the proper buzz 3 times in one day. (That 9 AM round may raise a few eyebrows). If the position goes sour, bring out the tequila and await further enlightenment. For final round games, I might even eat the worm at the bottom of the Mescal bottle.

Oh brave new world that has such challenges in it!

39 days down, 116 to go
382 probs down, 827 to go in Circle One


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