Here, at the World Open, One thing comes to mind: WOW! So many players!
How many players is a lot? 1225! (and that’s NOT including any of the side events like the Women’s Championship, the Under 13 Championship, the Under 13 Booser or the Senior Amateur Championship).
Over 1200 men, women and children raging in age from six to 86, and from people who are making this their very first chess tournament ever to people who’ve been playing in tournaments for over 70 years! If that doesn’t show you what a wide-spread game chess is, nothing will!
Players come from all over the world for this tournament. I’ve heard more languages and accents in the last couple of days (sorry for not posting any blogs from the tournament before this, I’ve been pre-occupied trying to win my games) than I’ve ever heard in one place aside from a trip to Disney World when I was a child.
If the above two paragraphs don’t demonstrate just how widespread the game of chess has become, then I don’t know what does. All walks of life are represented here, it seems: from the poor to the rich, the young and the old and everything in between, every ethnicity you can imagine, both genders, “nerds” and “jocks” and “emos” and “hippies” and any other stereotype you can think of are represented here. Every major motion picture WISHES they could reach everyone as the game of chess seems to have as litterally any demographic that exists is represented here.
If I get a chance, I will try to post a photo later of the veritable sea of people that makes up the tournament playing areas (there are 3 large ballrooms filled with people each round). That will likely come tomorrow if I can pull it off, because tomorrow is when all the game schedules merge together and all players will be in the same place at the same time!
I was curious about how many master players there are, so I checked out the Open section and the Under 2400 section. There are 27 GM’s (Grand Master) in the Open section, 1 WGM (Woman Grand MAster) in the Open section and another in the Women’s championship tournament, 8 IM’s (International Master) in the Open section and 2 in the U2400 section, and a smattering of FM’s (FIDE Masters) and LM’s (Life Master).
In other words, the talent in this building right now is awe-inspiring!
Of course, there are also many amateur players like yourself… some that have only just learned what chess even is this year that could gain a lot of valuable info from the Chess Noob blogs I usually bring you.
Tomorrow morning, I intend attending a lecture by one of the many Grand Masters here. I sadly did not attend the one today because I slept in a little bit (I had a long grueling day yesturday). After the lecture, I’ll be posting a blog that outlines some of the stuff the GM talked about (after all, wouldn’t you rather get a short lesson from one of the best players on the planet rather than a potzer like me?).
I may post one or two of my games on here too, as that might be helpful (including one game where my opponent made a horrendous mistake in the opening, allowing me to capture his queen on move 7… it will be a good lesson in what to look for).
Until then, I need to prepare for the next round…