Wednesday, August 10, 2022 16:30

Peoria Winter Tornado

About This Post…

It’s 7 AM. I’m preparing to head on over to Peoria for the Novice section of the Greater Peoria Chess Federation’s Winter Tornado tournament. If I have Wi-Fi access over there I’ll update this post throughout the day. (Otherwise I’ll just be typing it up after rounds and doing one edit tonight.)


So, it’s 7 AM. I got plenty of sleep last night, but I didn’t actually go to sleep until my body was worn out. When I woke up this morning I realized why…. I’m nervous about today. Not quite like I was for the Northbridge tournament, but it’s the same feeling. Stress. It used to be this way in Speech & Debate, too, as well as when I took the stage, or the pulpit.

Here’s my routine for this, saying the following internally to myself: I am nervous, and this is fine – that means my energy levels are charging up for the best chess I can play. I will play my best chess today. I will use my time well, and my opponent and I will play out our game. If I win I will rejoice, and if I lose I will realize I played the best game I could. Either way will be fine. I am lovable and capable, and I am capable of winning at chess. Then I read through my Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From Chess, and recognize its meaning both to Chess and to Life.

Then I blog a little bit ( ;) ) and I’m a little less nervous for awhile.

Time to eat a good and healthy breakfast, and get my things together to go.

Round 1 – 10:15 AM

Arrived on time, played one of the players I know, rated 1093, from the Bloomington Scholastic scene. I lost with White on Board 7. It may have been one of those “I got too cute by half” games. We’ll have to see in post-analysis.

Rght after the round I had time to run out to my car, scarf my lunch, and then it was 12:00. So it was back into it again.

Round 2 – 12:00 PM

On board 9, lowest board, I won with Black against a player rated 546. I traded Knight for Pawn in the first three moves. But putting me on the defensive pays off – I later won a Rook almost for free. Then traded Queens off, promoted two pawns (losing one to take out his Knight / was up materially a Rook and two pawns at that point,) and a Queen/Rook rolling barrel to checkmate.

Then it was now. I have about a half hour before the scheduled next round start. More to come….

(BTW, note to wife: I think I left my cell phone at home. :O )

Round 3 – 1:45 PM

Remember that part in Star Wars when Luke manages to shoot down a Tie Fighter as they escape from the Death Star? Remember Han’s advice to Luke?

“That’s great, kid! Now don’t get cocky….”

Round 3 was a loss with White, against a scholastic age player. I don’t have his rating – I will post that later…. I tried a Ruy Lopez that went south on me. I was feeling pretty good about it at first – IIRC I opened a diagonal where his Queen could get my Rook for free. But then he started, well, acting his age a little. (As in distracting over the board.) I guess he felt pretty darn good at beating a 40 year old patzer. Whatever.

But Bonus! The tournament is being played at Lakeview Museum. They have a free planetarium show at 3 PM that lasts about 10 minutes on the Winter skies. So I’ll check that out, as the last round doesn’t begin until 3:30.

Even though I’m 1 for 3 so far, I get scientific discovery knowledge of what I can see when I look up at the night sky. Cool!

Round 4 – 3:30 PM

The 10 minute planetarium show was awesome. I am so coming back here for the paid shows! (And my wife rolls her eyes on many different levels.)

As to the last round, well, it was another loss. I had White, essayed an Italian against a 546 player and managed to lose it.

Oh, well. Another 1 for 4 tournament…. It is hard, immediately after defeat, to fnd ways to enjoy one’s chess. But I’m sitting here in the tournament hall watching others play. I had one win – which is more than some other players here (at least one who had zero points received a fourth round bye.) The action is indeed intense. And, as time passes on, that one point looks better and better.

And speaing of byes, time to post this and head home. Post-tournament post when I get there.


Actually, I liked the drive home very much. Sun just going down, eating two hot dogs from Circle K for 99 cents each (relish, onion sauce, ketchup, mustard,) classic rock on the radio….

And now, after it’s done, the last loss (and all of them,) put into proper perspective. It was an enjoyable day!

I didn’t take time before this to note all the faces there that I recognized. The Walbert Brothers, Sam Heil, Evan Johnson… one other person I just can’t recall right now (Sorry!) from the Bloomington Normal Area Scholastic Chess group. From Colley’s Chess Cafe and Tri-Cities Chess Club: Rob Nunez, Dennis Bourgerie, Garrett Scott. From outside the area that I recognized: Randy Crum (whom I’ve lost to before…) and David Long, among others. Garrett was kind enough to introduce me to a few other players, as well.

And, of that Pre-Tournament post… The nervousness passed. My energy was high. I played my best chess today, and used my time as well as possible. We played our games. I rejoiced. I realized I played the best game I could in my losses. I am still lovable and capable. I won at chess. I still learned a lot, and made the best use of my finite time today. In short, I enjoyed my chess. I hope today was also a day in which you could

Enjoy your Chess!


3 Responses to “Peoria Winter Tornado”

  1. Nikki Peppermint says:

    Oops, left the comment on the wrong entry…you may delete that one!!

    And you did leave your phone at home…it keeps beeping somewhere from the void. ;-)

  2. Nikki Peppermint says:

    And congrats on the win, honey :-D!!!

  3. Thanks, babe! I actually approved it – I’ll have to play with moderation later. :)

    A few minutes to pack things up here, maybe wander a little, then to home. See you after a bit!