Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011 US Senior Insanity

I greatly appreciate the nice tone of the comment left on my last post. I have had others, in other forums and private messages, say something similiar in a belligerent way. I am glad you think it would be a success. I can only wish those that do organize would listen to you and me!
I am not, and do not wish to be, an organizer. I have been around chess for many decades and know what organizing entails. To be good at something, one first has to have the desire. I am lacking the desire to run a tournament. I would much prefer to play. I do have a great deal of admiration and respect for those that do organize chess tournaments; or, for that matter, any tournament, whether it be Backgammon, Go, Scrabble, Poker, etc.
Let me tell you a story...I was in the director's room, talking with the organizer, a real Southern gentleman, at a Southern chess tournament when a rather high-strung player entered the room with steam coming out of his nostrils. He had taken the time and gone to the trouble to check the numbers and had come to the conclusion that the organizer was "cheating" the players. The organizer had been running this particular tournament for two decades, and is, to quote from one of my favorite movies, CASABLANCA, as honest as the day is long. The organizer tried to placate the nervous player, obviously wound way too tightly, to no avail. The player EXPLOADED, throwing the papers he had in his hand into the organizers face. He sat there impassively, but with a clenched jaw. I am the one who jumped up, grabbed the player, and 'escourted' him outside. I did not think, I reacted. If I had thought for a moment I would have considered the fact that the player was much younger and much stronger than me, and that he was the only person I ever had to ask to leave the House of Pain. I hope you can better understand why I have absolutely no desire to organize a chess tournament.
Someone left this question on my post of Tuesday, March 1, 2011
2011 US Senior: Anonymous said...
What do you think of the added 3-Day Option (First 3 Rds G/60):10am, 12:30pm, 3pm, Thursday, Merge with Traditional 7pm Thursday?
I was unaware of it until reading the comment. My first thought was what prompted this? I cannot help but wonder if the advance entries have been so few that the organizer felt he had to do something to draw more players. I really do not know, and would ask that if anyone has a clue to please leave a comment.
Upon further reflection, I came to the conclusion that this is INSANE! Actually, a better word would probably be 'absurd' as 'insane' has to do with a person. For example, only an insane person could have come up with this absurd idea!
I have no inside knowledge of who had this ridiculous idea; did the organizer have a brain fart? Or was he forced to add this by the pooh-bahs of US chess?
It is difficult for me to believe that anyone who has ever played chess would ask this of any Senior. A Senior is expected to begin his day at ten am and possibly not end it until one am, FIFTEEN HOURS LATER! This could possibly be life-threatening!
The idiot who has foisted this looney idea upon the Senior chess community is expecting a Senior to play FOUR games in one day! At our age we have trouble getting it up once a day. I'm not sure the pill has been invented for a Senior to get it up enough for three, much less four, games in one day. If a Senior player has a heart attack, or stroke, and decides to later sue the organizer, he would have a ready made defense by claiming to be non compos mentis!
From what I've learned from the many Senior players with whom I've communicated is that what they want is QUALITY, not quantity. It is really quite simple, yet the pooh-bahs of US chess, in their infinite wisdom, continue to do the same thing the same way, and expect a different result. I have heard that is one definition of insanity.


Anonymous said...

It is even worse than you state in that a player from the eastern time zone could, in effect, finish his fourth round at 2 AM, EST! I think they are having the three fast games because of the cost of a hotel room for a week. Playing so much chess in such a short time would have to have an adversely affect the player later on in the tournament. Part of me would like to be paired with a tired, punch drunk player the day after he played those four games, but the other part knows it would not be fair to take advantage of someone like that. I do not think many, if any, will play that schedule. I would like to thank you for writing, sanely, about these issues, and Senior chess generally. I agree with most everything you've written and would not consider playing in this event. By 2 AM I am, hopefully, into my third hour of sleep. Keep up the good work. There are those of us who do appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like desperation, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

I would not play four games a day if I was in my teens. Having a horde of guys who have just played three blitz games drop into the tournament is disconcerting to say the least. The main problem with the Senior for me is something you mentioned some time back. It is too close to the US Open. I would only have about two days at home between the events.Being on the road for almost three straight weeks is more than I can afford in this economy.
The Legendary Georgia Ironman