Delaware’s very own Ann Marie Fitch recently traveled to Texas to play in the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. During her trip, Ann Marie kept a journal of her thoughts and adventures. We bring you this journal in three parts…
In this part we see the many things to do at such an event besides chess and celebrate the ups and downs of Ann Marie’s over-the-board play against higher rated opponents. Click here if you missed Part 1.
Techmate II: My Experience at SPNI 2009 (part 2)
July 28th, 2009 – Masked Rider, Round 3, and Swimming
This morning before my game, the Masked Rider came to visit the participants of the SPNI, parents, and coaches. The Masked Rider is the mascot for Texas Tech’s home football games, and she rides a horse named Midnight Matador. Lots of people took pictures. I got a picture with the Masked Rider, and so did my mom. Then we got a picture together, and after that the SPNI girls who were present got a group picture with the Masked Rider.
After the Masked Rider left, it was time for our matches to start. My opponent was Kristen Sarna from TX. Kristen was rated 1425, which made me slightly nervous, but that didn’t stop me. I played an awesome game and won, causing another upset even bigger than the one yesterday. I made some phone calls to people who I thought would want to hear about my two upsets from me personally, like my first chess coach, the president of the Delaware Chess Association, and some of my family members. Everyone I called was really excited and told me to keep up the great work.
In the evening, there was a blitz tournament, my mom and I relaxed and celebrated my two unexpected wins by going to the Leisure Pool at the Texas Tech Recreation Center. The Leisure Pool is actually like a miniature water park. There was a kiddie pool, an area to swim laps in, an area for volleyball and basketball, a lazy river, a water slide, a hot tub, and a few more features. It was so fun and refreshing.
July 29th, 2009 – Basketball game, Round 4, and Bughouse
The first event for the day was a basketball game. Mrs. Flores’s daughter Rachel led the activity. We started with a scooter relay race, followed by some kickball. I made two great catches to get people from the opposing team out. Then, we played a few rounds of knockout. We were all exhausted by the time we finished playing knockout.
That afternoon I played against Margaret Hua from Missouri. Margaret was rated 1586, and even though I lost to her, I still gave her a long, hard 3.5 hour fight. In the evening, I participated in the Bughouse tournament. I paired up with Alisha from California. We lost all 5 of our matches, but it was still really fun and an opportunity to hang out with some of the other girls.
July 30th, 2009 – Simul, Round 5, Karate Practice, and Chocolate Chess Party
The first event today was a simul against Gergely Antal, an IM from Hungary. I didn’t participate in the simul because I wanted to save my energy for my round later on. I did, however have my picture taken with Antal, and he signed my chessboard.
My round in the afternoon was against Alexa Lasley from Colorado. Alexa was rated 1489, and I lost to her. After my round was over, my mom and I went to the recreation center so that I could practice my karate. I didn’t want to forget anything just because I was away from the school.
Shortly after returning from the recreation center, there was a chocolate chess party at the Fresh Plate in the dorm building. There was a demonstration of how to make chocolate chess pieces and chessboards. There were also free samples and a drawing for four sets of chocolate chess pieces. The party concluded with Mr. Barber giving every SPNI participant a regular-size Hershey bar. YUMMM!!!
to be continued…