Saturday, March 02, 2013


Othello! I haven't played for so long, I seem to have forgotten how to play badly. Eleven players, so a round robin with eight games today and three tomorrow - my first game, against Emmanuel Caspard, was one of those where I was sure that there must be some clever move that would win it for me by miles and miles, but if there was then I missed it, and ended up losing 34-30. But after that, I went on a sort of unstoppable winning spree, beating Roy, the other Emmanuel, Pierluigi and David Beck, and playing really well (by my standards) in all four games! Then against Stéphane for the first time I got the feeling of not at all knowing what I'm doing, but somehow he took twenty minutes and two seconds to complete the victory (20 minutes on the clocks) and so I won on time, completely undeservedly. Then I had a bye to bring me up to six points from seven rounds - for reference, my rule of thumb is that five and a half points in total from the Cambridge International would be a great achievement, and I've only managed it once before! The final game of the day was a loss to Martin Ødegård, who apart from having a surname full of letters I don't know the ascii codes for had a perfect day, winning eight out of eight. Caspard is second with six and a half, and I'm in third place overnight with six. Woo!

Three games to go tomorrow, against Imre, Arnaud and Borja, all of which I'd expect to lose, but even if I do, the competition has been a great success. I must make a habit of never playing othello, even online, between tournaments!

Friday, March 01, 2013

The old alma mater

Here I am, back in Cambridge. Depending on whether I went to the Christmas tournament last year (I can't remember), I haven't been here for at least a few months. But I'm breaking away from the tradition of staying in Cityroomz and going with somewhere a great deal cheaper, albeit a much longer walk from the train station. Cityroomz, back when it was Sleeperz, was the really cheap and nice hotel in Cambridge. Nowadays it's the moderately-priced and nice hotel, which is a terrible shame. Nobody wants a moderately-priced and nice hotel, at least not while there are still fairly-cheap and nice hotels around the place!

Anyway, Cambridge International othello tomorrow and Sunday! It's not part of the European Grand Prix this year, so I'm not sure how many Internationals, or even Locals, will be there, but we'll see. I haven't played any othello at all since the last tournament I went to, whichever it was, so I think we can guarantee I'll do badly.