Parsippany (Or, chess security and MMA, a love song)

In theory I am going to New Jersey for the annual US Amateur Team Chess Thingie again in February.

This year is unusual in several respects.

One, our team is not fully constituted. Last year we were locked and loaded with senior masters on boards one and two.

Two, I am completely unprepared. Completely. Chess just  hasn’t fit into the schedule for the past 6-8 months.

Three, here’s the fun part. Tuesday before the event, I fly to San Fransisco for the annual RSA security conference. Thursday night, I go to a gym with several seasoned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners to “roll” for the first time ever. This should be a blast; hopefully I won’t get hurt. Friday morning I get up very very early, fly to Boston, go home and take a nap, then drive to Parsippany.

And then I play for fun. Because that’s what I do – I’m a chessplayer.


13 thoughts on “Parsippany (Or, chess security and MMA, a love song)

  1. How about just fly to NJ?

    I was given the chance to play at the USATT. (BTW, does your wife know that your Champ has turned into a Thingie? Just wondering.) I declined. It was a close call, because I’ve always wanted to play and have not yet had the opportunity. Why did I decline? 1) 2/6 games will go past my bedtime (this is the big reason); 2) travel, hotel, and time costs are similar to any other 3-day tournament, and I have a budget; and 3) I can get four good games at the RI Pawn Eater 4SS, on the same weekend, at 1/10 the cost and 1/3 the time.

  2. Flying just doesn’t work. I don’t stay at the tourney hotel, among other issues.

    The 1/10 cost is compelling but the 1/3 time isn’t for me — I LOVE total immersion. I like 6-hour games. I like to spend the spare time refreshing opening lines I haven’t looked at in months, and hanging out in the bar laughing about all the awful moves I’ve played.

    One of my favorite bits from last year came in the first round. Charles was playing an expert and had a tiny endgame plus, but he had to win (because I had drawn a C player). I left to get lunch, Charles asked Matt to get him some coffee, he put on his hard hat, and when I came back an hour later, the position had transformed from tiny plus to total and complete ugly domination. It was awesome, literally. I respect the willingness to grind :)

    1. Incidentally I as I was leaving for lunch I asked Denys how he’d evaluate the position. He said “Objectively maybe 60/40 for white.” Then he said “But Charles will win this.”

  3. If anyone would know, it would be Denys.

    I love the immersion and the atmosphere too, alas. Good luck — at least work some Emrald or tactics problems before Round 1.

    MMA rules. They say jui-jitsu is like chess. Tell us what you think.

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