Friday, December 21, 2007

Old Familiar Pain

She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away
Just for one moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
As I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain.

I’m going to indulge in some holiday morosity, so if you only want happy thoughts, I suggest you move on to someone who won his game last night. I was surprised to learn of the passing of Dan Fogelberg this week at the age of 56 from prostate cancer. The lyrics above are the end of his ”Same Old Lang Syne”, a bittersweet holiday reunion and remembrance of love’s loss.

My game last night brought back that old familiar pain that I’ve got no game. I played Nathaniel Garingo, the player I predicted would be the next master of our club. However, Nathaniel has been taking a beating from Kevin Gafni, the player I predicted would be the next expert of our club.

I could bring up a lot of excuses, such as how before the round I as TD had to deal with my own version of Toiletgate, or how I had been at work for 35 of the previous 56 hours and been on call for the other 21. But my underdeveloped defense mechanisms prevent excuses from being much help. Stark reality is my comfort food. This loss hurts because it reminds me of the dark period of my slump before the Western States Open. Where is my mojo? I haven't been tactically strong lately so I had taken refuge in the thought that I’m strong positionally, but the other experts in the club have been out-Petrosianing me. My opening repertoire is admittedly very narrow, but it apparently also has the advantages of being inaccurate and weak. Opening knowledge, tactics, and positional sense. Kingside, queenside, and center. I was defeated on all fronts. Sigh. I’ve got some wound licking and soul searching to do before the Expert Championship.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence
Another auld lang syne...

This toast is for you, Dan.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Ernie, don't feel too bad, my game is nowhere where it was in the Club Championship last year and even then, towards the end, my game was in decline.

I know part of the reason was the semester's end and finals. But even with that, my chess studies have been superficial and sporadic at best.

I have been better lately, thanks to my new blog idea and I saw so many possibilities last night against Grant that I should be happy, even though I choice a bad one eventually.

The reason why I say I should be happy is that for months now, I haven't seen any possibilities for myself and walk into my opponents.

This was the first time since the Club Championship that things looked different and more promising. Probably because I've been looking at a lot of tactics lately.

I wonder if I'm finally playing myself out of this losing streak I'm on.

They say, that just before a big leap in rating, one often experiences a losing streak of sorts. I wonder if that's true...