Thursday, 4 October 2012

Views of the Part time F.A.T. controller

Here we all were again at Regent College for the Atkins Chess Congress, the one and only chess congress in Leicester. I have to say that it was alot easier to move around and play chess with no construction work this year. It was strange not having to duck under scaffolding or dodge around the odd pile of chairs that inconvienienced the builders.

I arrived on the Saturday, for the second round of games. I was at Bistro Live on the Friday night having a good old knees up and a drinky poo or two. Or Six. I was a little groggy on the Saturday morning. I could see that my old mates from the Heathcote were there, Raymondov, Colin, Rob Ensor (The Heathcote leaver) and I was most disappointed to see that my fellow controller from last year, Haka Dave, (yes I am sticking to the original Haka, not serial killer hacker), had decided to play instead of officiate in his own special way. I also saw The Grinder, (who I suspect wasn't playing because he couldn't have fun in the Minor tournament because his grade is too high!). I was given my badge - it looked exactly like the one from last year, I could see where I had started to scrawl FAT in front of the word controller. I really did have to heavily resist doing so - especially when I was prompted to do so by Colin. I was joined in the controller's room by Andy Morley and Sean Hewitt - these guys know what they're doing - and then there was me. Who doesn't know what he's doing. Oh well.

Saturday passed without much trouble, a few clocks to add the 20 minutes to was about as exciting as it got. I continued to walk round as if I knew what I was doing, secretly thinking 'I hope that nobody asks me anything'. Perhaps the highlight of the day was the great Russian Raymondov approaching me, bemoaning the fact that he'd got 0 points after two games. Comments like 'I'm gonna give up chess' and 'I just want to get better' were particular highlights. I feel the same and I can't be bothered to do anything about it. That is probably why I'm not getting any better. Hey Ray? The most amusing thing after all that, is that he went on to win his next two games! I hope that if and when I ever play him again, he doesn't approach me with the same attitude - it must spur him on......

Having played football on the Sunday morning - and missing the fourth round, I was all present and correct for the fifth and final round. Only to be told that I would be paired against a lady who had got a bye in the last round. After making a total embarrassment of myself, by blundering away a rook and a Bishop, I resigned. The adrenaline was flowing from the earlier football and I had too many rushes of blood to the head. Sean, very generously, put the loss down to 'Keeping the punters happy'. Cheers Sean. I was quite glad to be back to controlling again. It was well worth going as Brian Foreman approached me saying 'I want to claim a draw on the two minute rule'. Short of thinking 'What the heck are you on about?' I asked Sean for help. There was also a moment of controversy as the game between Terry Adcock and young Conor Reid of Braunstone exploded into life. I won't put the details of the game or the dispute on here but let's just say that Terry was unhappy at losing and Conor (and his Dad) were, erm, slightly pleased that he won.

All in all, it was another big success for the Atkins. Well organised (I take no credit for that whatsoever), well populated and a general success for Heathcote aswell. Well done to Colin for winning some dough - it's always nice to get any sort of grading prize.

It was good to see you guys again and I'll see you all soon.

Ben Vaughan
Wigston Chess Club

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