2009 US Open Exhibition Simul, Twitter!?
August 09, 2009 • General
In tune with the past blog, I will now recap my past week which has also been extremely busy. For some unknown reason, I cannot ever have one free day of rest. Oh well, such is life in this day and age. At least I can keep everyone apprised of what IS happening.
Following the Mainz Chess Classic, I returned to New York for a few days briefly. Shortly thereafter, I headed off to Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2009 US Open. After arriving in Indianapolis on Thursday, I went straight to the tournament to check out who was participating as well as the location itself. I must say that after so many years away from the US Open, I am not happy with the current trend. Although the young talent seems to abound, I recognize fewer and fewer people with every passing year. Perhaps I am getting too old for too attend this tournament!? I recognized the usual faces such as Shabalov, Finegold,Kosteniuk, etc. After this, I briefly chatted with several people who asked me various questions about my schedule. Unfortunately, due to the rather isolated location of the tournament, it was rather impossible to do anything in particular, so I simply spent the evening relaxing and then eating dinner with a few friends. A very uneventful first day in Indiana to say the least!
On the second day (Friday) I had a simul scheduled for 1 PM. The entry fee was $50. Unfortunately, the simul was scheduled at a horrendous time as it prevented people in the 4 or 6 day schedules from being able to participate in the event. Nevertheless, the turnout was quite substantial with 26 players in total playing out of a possible 50. This was more than I expected, so I was pleasantly surprised. In terms of the actual competition, there were several experts who signed up to play which surprised me, and made it a lot more of a challenge. In the end, I won all 26 of the games despite several games in which my opponents nearly held draws. By this point it was already 3:30 in the afternoon at which point I went to the hotel restaurant and had a brief lunch with my dad, Macauley and World Senior Champion, Larry Kaufman. After this, I was planning to take a brief nap, but I got waylaid by my friend Chris and ended up analyzing his game instead (with a crowd watching). This led to about a 10 minute break before I went downstairs to the bookstore and started signing memorabilia for fans.
Since I had now completed all the tasks which I was specifically there to take part in, I decided to finally go out and explore Indianapolis. I went to a nice quaint little sushi place nearby with WEBMASTER DAVE and his lovely wife, Kelly. This definitely improved my original opinion of the town; however, this seemed to change rather quickly when I found out later that we were near the area where murders apparently happen (I later found out its safer than the Bronx). We decided to do a drive by tour of downtown Indy and I saw Lucas Oil Stadium which replaced the famous RCA Dome last year (This is football). This massive 800M behemoth of a monument to Peyton Manning looks quite impressive from the outside and hopefully at some point in the future I’ll have the opportunity to attend a Colts-Titans and watch the Colts get smoked! We passed by Conseco Field House home to the Indianapolis Pacers and Monument Square as well. Overall, I enjoyed the tour, but at the same time, it truly makes one realize just how fundamentally different certain parts of the country are.
One would assume that after such adventures, I would just call it a night since I had a 11 AM flight back to New York the following morning. This turned out to NOT be the case, as I ended up heading back downtown later that evening for a late night snack with my father and a few others. We had a few drinks and discussed the general state of chess and all of our aspirations for the future. Sadly, the evening did not involve any real mixing with the downtown area (I blame Jim, Drew and a few others for having to play games which went well past 10 PM) and we all returned back to the hotel around 2 AM. My dad and I then watched our two friends duke it out at blitz. The sight was definitely not pretty, but at 2 AM no one can really be expected to play good chess. Thus ended my brief, yet satisfying stay in Indianapolis.
The following morning, after a few hours of sleep (Thanks for keeping me up, Chloe!) I got a ride to the airport and boarded a flight back to New York. The route that we took to return went directly over the Hudson River which was a bit disconcerting as there was a crash between a helicopter and a charter plane which occurred less than an hour before I was over that area. Thankfully, my flight arrived safely and I got back without any problems. Since then, I have just been relaxing and doing some last minute preparation before I begin my August schedule which involves tournaments in Tokyo, Japan and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. That is all for now folks as I have to get some sleep since I have a 11 AM flight from Newark to Narita tomorrow morning. Once again, thanks to everyone who takes time to read and or post comments.
Last but not least, I finally caved today and started a twitter account (several people have been asking me to create one for some time). For those who are interested, it is http://twitter.com/GMHikaru