The Chess Wanderer

"Les pions sont l´âme du jeu" Francois-André Philidor, 1749

Friday, February 18, 2005

Welcome to Chess Club

Decided to go to one of the chess clubs last night to see where my current OTB skills are at. It was interesting to say the least.

First had to take a one hour and fifteen minute bus ride then walk about a half mile to a mile to get to the rec center. I played three games. My first game was a loss to a high schooler who was quite helpful in giving me tips on improving. The second game was more interesting. Did you ever see the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer"? My second opponent was the Laurence Fishburne character from that movie. He kept on saying things like "Oh look at this guy! He is on the attack! Oh, I'm starting to get nervous.", and all the while smacking his lips when he is moving his pieces. Quite intriguing.

My last game was against a more serious opponent who thought long and hard on every move like me. I won the last game and the guy felt we were about the same level. He said his rating is around 1350 or so. That was nice to hear. He was also the most help on giving me advice on how to go about the local tournaments as well as entering other state tourneys. Overall it was a good learning experience but I don't think it is worth it to go more than once every three months or so. At least not until I complete the 7-Circles program. It was my first time watching a blitz game too. Now that was amazing.

My new set from Wholesale Chess was a big hit. Everyone commented on how nice the pieces were. That may have been a bad thing though. I notice that OTB chess players tend to take their chess games more personally than online guys.


At 2/19/2005 2:25 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Reading this a few questions arise about differences of chessclubs in USA and The Netherlands. What time is available for one game? Here we play one game with 2 hours per person on an evening.
You say "he kept on saying". Is it allowed to speak? Here it's not.
You talk about your chessset. Take people their own chessset with them? Here the club owns de chesssets. Just curious.

At 2/19/2005 9:07 AM, Blogger Pawnsensei said...

Hey TS,

Excellent questions. I didn't realize that chess clubs were different in different areas. This was the only one I attended so far.

1. There is no such thing as time with the games I played. Two of the three people preferred 5 mins per person or less. Since I am a rank beginner they allowed me to play unlimited but out of respect to them I limited it to 30 min for myself.

2. Boy are they allowed to speak! In fact observers are allowed to speak too. One kid was even talking smack about one of the better players who was trying to teach some of the younger kids. It was a little uncomfortable for me but I guess that's how they play there.

3. You have to take your own chess set and clock to the tournaments as well. It is recommended that you mark all of your pieces and equipment so it doesn't get lost.

Hope this answers your questions.


At 2/19/2005 10:21 AM, Blogger Don Q. said...

There are also rated games which are serious where talking is not allowed and are played under a strict time control. Rated games impact your USCF rating. Sounds like they were playing "skittles" chess

Skittles is what used to be called an offhand game. Usually the game is not timed but not necessarily. There is a tradition of "kibitzing" meaning spectators commenting on the game while in progress. In more recent years, kibitzing has been augmented by the practice of "talking trash".

Talking trash is where you tell your oppoenent how terribly he is playing and how you are going to beat him handily. Used by a chess huslter in the park, talking trash is an effective psycological weapon. In the club setting, it is often just for a bit of fun.

At 2/20/2005 11:36 AM, Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza said...

When I lived in New York City I would often wander down to Washington Square Park, the mecca of trash talking chess. During this time in my life I had stopped playing chess, but a couple of times I set up against one of these guys to see what would happen. We played for money which was actually kind of exhilirating, but you really had to tune the guys out with their talk. It was all psychological.

These guys were all about tactics too. It's no wonder I never beat them. When this program is said and done, I think I will go back to that park and try my hand at it.

At 2/20/2005 12:38 PM, Blogger logis said...

The system in Belgium is the same as in the Netherlands. The club has its own pieces, boards and chessclocks (and even the notationforms are supplied by the chessclub in case of a serious game is played).

Even for tournaments we chessplayers just have to turn up and register. The material is proved by the tournament organisers.

And yes, otb players take there games more seriously then online chess players. Otb ratingpoints are a better grade to put players into categories then online chess rating.


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