Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Chess, Wine and Rock & Roll

The weather was absolutely terrible today, I got soaked while out for dinner with a friend. At least dinner was very entertaining - my friend told me all the latest news about her ever-changing love life. And the cheesecake was outstanding! I was out last night as well. It's quite unusual for me to be out for two evenings in the row since I decided to get better at chess. Last night I was at the residents' meeting organised at one of my neighbour's flats. I've been living in my flat for two years and still haven't met most of the neighbours in the other 17 flats. Some of you may get surprised how I managed not to meet many of my neighbours before, but I find it difficult to knock on people's doors and initiate conversations with complete strangers. On the other hand, I'm quite happy to chat with almost anyone if they approach me first. The meeting turned out to be a good laugh, maybe because there were mainly women and most of them drinking wine. I felt a bit sorry for the two guys, especially when conversation turned to a discussion about some handsome plumber who provided services to several flats. He was supposed to fix something in one of the flats the next day - I hope he got out of there alive...

I did reasonably well in the Golders Green rapidplay on Saturday and I really enjoyed the day. I always seem to do much worse in rapidplays than in slow plays because I hardly ever play in rapidplays, but I certainly intend to change that. This time I got 3 out of 6 (+2,=2,-2) in the Open section, but I'm a little unsure about my rating performance. I think I performed at roughly 165-175 ECF rating, but I will know for sure when the tournament table is published on the Golders Green rapidplay website. My last recorded ECF rapidplay rating was 133 in 2008, so I'm pleased I did much better this time. I also enjoyed chatting to several chess players and was particularly touched by a very old man who, after watching me lose a complicated first game, told me that I played very well for a girl. I couldn't help but burst out a sound of shocked laugh - I guess it's a natural reaction to what appeared to be a sexist comment, but I quickly realised he didn't mean it in that way and meant it rather as a compliment. He won me over even more when he said that he liked Russian literature like Tolstoy and Chekhov, and especially when he asked if I was a grandmaster. Very sweet :) I almost felt bad to disappoint him that I'm quite far from achieving that.

I'll wrap up with some other good news. I got tickets to see Stereophonics and Arctic Monkeys! Stereophonics is one of my favourite bands and Kelly Jones is a great singer live. Besides all the guys in the band look quite nice. I couldn't find my favourite Stereophonics song in good quality on YouTube, but here is another good one for you live: Devil I've never seen Arctic Monkeys live, but wanted to for several years. If their gig is going to be anything like what I'd seen on TV, then it will be great. Here is one of their very good songs: Brainstorm Arctic Monkeys are from Sheffield and Stereophonics are from Wales. I've been to Sheffield many times in the past year because of work and I've even grown to like Yorkshire accent. I actually like many different English accents. Scottish and London accents are probably my favourite at the moment.

No comments: