Monday, 18 July 2011

Getting Ready for Dieren

By Moulthun

"It is an honour for you to be here; ordinarily I converse only with my greyhounds."
(Mir Sultan Khan's Master: London 1933)

For the past two weeks since the conclusion of our America trip, Junta, Andrew and I have been doing our best to camouflage ourselves as Dutch locals. However, no matter how hard we tried there is always something which gives us away. From our obvious lack of Dutch (Junta has been here for almost three weeks and still cannot say a single word of Dutch correctly), to the apparent foreign english accents.

During the first few days of arriving in Amsterdam, I fell ill to an infection, which stole almost a week off our travel plans. It seemed to have happened after competing in an interesting Blitz Chess/Table tennis tournament, which consisted of 7 rounds, with 4 games of table tennis and 1 games of blitz chess 5 0 against each opposition. Although my blitz almost landed me a 50% score overall, my table tennis was far from impressive. In fact I thought I would have a chance if I didn't get paired with a competition player, but I knew I was going to suffer when I realized my racket grip has hardly ever been seen before. Sadly I didn't manage to win a single game, although I had many close calls which I suspect were my opponents toying with me as payback for the blitz. It seems the changes from physical to mental exercise was extremely straining and definitely tested my ability to focus. But it was a unique and very enjoyable experience, perhaps one day we will see other sports being combined with chess.
Me vs (GM) Robin Swinkels
Since then we have done the typical day trips, absorbing in what the rich city and picturesque countrysides of Holland have to offer. Resting between days, to enjoy local activities within the park and publicly provided sporting areas. Chess preparation has been added in here and there but nowhere near as much as what was intended. Tomorrow though, all three of us will take a short trip to Dieren to compete in the Dutch Open starting on the 19th July. In the meantime we pack our bags and try to cram every last bit of chess knowledge we can possibly hold.
Although we all have big ambitions, we can only wait and hope if any of them can be fulfilled.

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