Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chess-comfort part 2

School can be pretty boring. Some obligatory courses can be not interesting at all and a teacher just reading out his papers won't make his classes popular. Nevertheless I very rarely was absent during my schoolyears. Only at the university when after 15 minutes waiting for the start of the lesson still nobody popped up, I dared to leave. This doesn't mean that I was always attentive in the class. It happened once in a while that I played some blindfold-chess with another student having 1900 elo. There was no chess-comfort at all but at such moments you don't care.

Maximum chess-comfort I experienced in the highest divisions of the French interclub. I remember a match where we played in a luxurious meeting-room of a 5 stars hotel. During the match we got free drinks and even small snacks. Big sound-proof doors and an attentive arbiter maintained complete silence in the playing-room. Such conditions we can only dream about in Belgium. On the other hand as mentioned in a reaction of my last article, conditions can become pretty bad sometimes.

Last this was also the case in the interclubmatch against Jean Jaures. Jean Jaures plays this season in the same club-house as KGSRL so must be satisfied with their rooms in surplus. As consequence 2 teams were propped in one very tiny room. I estimate 20 players were squeezed in just 15m2. The match was just started and our first board Jan Rooze told me that he has to disturb me every time when he wants to leave the playing-room. Besides 6 out of 8 people are +50 so automatically you have much more toiletvisits than averagely (age has a serious impact for the prostate). The only patch I found was to push my table with my belly from the moment my opponent Ashote Draftian had left our table for a walk. Nobody complained even when later the frame of a painting located behind my opponents back almost dropped from the wall when somebody accidentally hit it.

Myself I can easily sit whole afternoon on my chair when there is little space to maneuver. For some time already I always bring my own food and drinks to the matches. However I wasn't protected against the noise. Everybody was very surprised that the door of the playing-room could not be closed despite some very recent thorough renovations. This created a lot of noise from below and the corridor. I still forget to take my earplugs with me. I lost a lot of time in the opening as I couldn't concentrate properly. Playing chess while pushing the fingers in the ears is not comfortable at all. I was lucky to avoid defeat being low of time by liquidating to an endgame .
[Event "Interclub Deurne - Jean Jaures"] [Date "2017"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Draftian, A."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B41"] [WhiteElo "2304"] [BlackElo "2300"] [PlyCount "53"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 {(In 2011 Ashote chose Qc7 in our mutual game but he already played this once before.)} 7. Bd3 Bxc3 {(However this is a surprise if we can ever speak about surprises with Ashote. During the game I thought it is nonsense but at home I discovered the line is quite playable with the biggest prominent the American grandmaster Alexander Stripunksy.)} 8. bxc3 d6 9. O-O {(I have not found any clear refutation but this move is probably not the most critical. Ba3 and Qa4 are much sharper.)} e5 10. Nc2 Qc7 $6 { (I do not know when exactly Ashote was out of book but this move is surely invented at the board and probably not very accurate. I consider Be6 and 0-0 as more precise.)} 11. Ne3 $6 {(The engines show a small advantage after Bg5 but it is not simple.)} O-O 12. Rb1 Nbd7 13. f3 Nc5 14. Ba3 Be6 15. Rf2 $6 {(I underestimated blacks answer as after my move I start to get some troubles. Better was Qe2.)} b5 16. Bf1 Rfc8 $6 {(Black plays it too slowly. Bxc4 keeps a small advantage for black.)} 17. Rd2 Qa7 18. Qe1 Bxc4 19. Bxc4 bxc4 20. Bxc5 Qxc5 21. Rb4 a5 22. Rxc4 Qa3 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. c4 Rb8 25. Kf2 Qc5 26. Qe2 g6 27. Rb2 {(I proposed a draw as I realized my position is finally more or less safe and I was almost exclusively playing by increments. Ashote accepted quickly which made me anxious but the engines comforted me as it is still white that should be extra careful.)} 1/2-1/2
Also Marcel Van Herck complained after the game about the miserable playing-conditions. He was neither able to leave his seat so didn't know the intermediate score and had to guess if a draw could be accepted or not. It is painful to find out after the game that the match was lost with the smallest difference. This could be the small detail deciding who next year will be playing first division. However there is in our team little interest to promote to first division as can be read in the report of our most recent match against Temse. The chess-comfort in first division is often even worse. I remember once a match where there was only 1 toilet for children available for all teams, no or insufficient heating while we were middle of the winter ....

Personally I find this outrageous especially if you know that many players are paid. It shows a complete lack of respect for the players to only prioritize winning.  Besides also Jean Jaures shows the same symptoms. They were not ashamed to add a grandmaster on the first board. Our strong Jan was the victim.
[Event "S.C. Jean Jaur├Ęs 1 - K.S.K. Deurne 1"] [Date "2017.02.12"] [Round "7"] [White "Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav"] [Black "Rooze, Jan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A43"] [WhiteElo "2538"] [BlackElo "2317"] [PlyCount "65"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bh4 Bb7 6. a4 Qb6 7. axb5 Qxb5 8. Nbd2 Nxd2 9. Nxd2 d6 10. e4 Qb6 11. c3 Bc8 12. Nc4 Qc7 13. Bg3 Nd7 14. Qa4 Kd8 15. Na5 Nb6 16. Nc6 Ke8 17. Qa5 Bd7 18. Bb5 f5 19. f3 e6 20. O-O exd5 21. exd5 a6 22. Rfe1 Kf7 23. Bxa6 Nxd5 24. Qxc7 Nxc7 25. Bc4 Kf6 26. Ne5 Be8 27. Rxa8 Nxa8 28. Ng4 fxg4 29. Rxe8 Nb6 30. Ba2 d5 31. Bd6 Kf7 32. Rb8 c4 33. Rb7 1-0
Sorry but instead of a grandmaster Jean Jaures could have invested in a decent place to play chess. After the game I announced clearly that I don't want to play interclub anymore if those conditions become the new standard for all matches.

I realize many clubs have very little means but especially when professionals are playing some minimum chess-comfort should be demanded. In Germany something already exists see schachblev turnierordnung with strict rules about temperature (20-23 degrees Celsius), space 75m2 for 1 match, minimum 2,6m altitude for the ceiling,... Without any regulations you can't expect any chess-comfort. Once a home-team dared to invite their opponents in a prostitution-house. Of course the visiting-team refused to play and filed a complaint.


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