November 18 - 19, 1972
Rating: 1029 provisional 8 games.
I was home for the Thanksgiving break so this gave me an opportunity to play my first tournament in my home state. This would be my third tournament of my fledgling chess "career". The tournament was hosted by the Towson Chess Club which met in the Towson YMCA. This Y was in one of those old buildings where ambiance was sorely lacking. Here is my first game. A longish draw where I missed my chance to win the ending.
When I first started playing in tournaments, my stomach was always twisted in knots, so outside of breakfast I could not eat very much. I think I'd eat a candy bar during the day and that was it. After the last round of the day, I'd go home and have dinner with my parents. This was my parents' first exposure to my newest competitive obsession. Over the years I don't think they ever really understood what I saw in chess. Though my father did document one of my study sessions in the picture below:
The date on the back of the print says April '72 which means it was taken even before I started playing in tournaments. I'm not sure where we had been before hand that I had been in a dress. Perhaps a nice dinner celebrating my 18th birthday? Why was I so eager to study that I didn't even bother changing into something more comfortable? I don't remember what book I was reading, though I do remember that the author had suggested using two boards to study.
The larger set on the right has a little bit of a story behind it. It belonged to one of my friends at summer camp. She gave it to me after I kept beating her. I had the set for many years, but I don't know what finally happened to it. It was a terrific travel set with wood pieces and strong magnets. It took a pounding over the years that I had it. I probably lost too many pieces, and just tossed it. Sigh. The things we get rid of, and then regret later.
I played a number of tournaments in Maryland while I was in high school and college. I'd also try to play when I come back to visit around the holidays. The last few years I've been trying come down at least once a year to visit friends of the family, and stay connected with people who been close friends to dad before he died. I get a chance to visit without people feeling like they have to keep me entertained all weekend.