It may not be everybody's idea of a good weekend away, but for me spending a weekend sitting at a chess board is fun. Firstly, there's the camaraderie of meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. Then there's the pitching of your brain against their's for up to four hours at a time.
So last weekend John and I travelled down to Carnon Downs, between Truro and Falmouth to play in the Cornish Chess Championships. The first round was Friday evening so we stayed overnight. My first game I enjoyed, for the first couple of hours. I knew what my aims were and everything seemed to be going my way. In fact, when I analysed it on the computer later I had an overwhelming win against my stronger opponent. Unfortunately I then made a bad move, and followed it up with a couple more bad moves and my overwhelming win turned into an overwhelming loss. That's the problem with chess, the tables can turn so quickly. However, it was a good game with lots of tension and my adrenaline was definitely flowing.
Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. I faced an opponent who seemed quietly confident. It was a tough game, but I managed to win it. Saturday afternoon was a different matter, I faced the top seed in the section. This turned out to be the best game of the weekend for me. We both posed threats and counter-threats and it was not until the last ten minutes of this four hour game that my opponent had a definite win. As we travelled home that evening my brain was frazzled, I think it took a good couple of hours before I felt 'normal' again. I was also extremely tired and just wanted a good night's sleep before repeating the process on Sunday.
On Sunday morning I faced an opponent I had played many times before and hadn't beaten. This was to be the same scenario. A good game, but one which I eventually lost after my position fell apart. Sunday afternoon was so different. I managed to get an overwhelming attack on my opponent's king and won the game. It felt good.
But what of John? Well he had an excellent tournament and walked away with the Falmouth Cup. He beamed all the way home and was still beaming the following morning. Needless to say he engraved it first thing Monday morning, cleaned it, and put it on display in our house.