Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday is d-day...

Egor will be our man in Minsk over the next 10 days as he participates in the Republic of Belarus' National Chess Tournament
I just ousted Egor from bed. It is a little before seven in the morning. Normally his day starts at 6:00am; a little exercise for the body, for the mind, a little breakfast. He is ok with his schedule I think. We have kind of a tight ship here and base a lot of our actions on at least appearing to be responsible people. This morning, when I told him it was 6:00, he made an argument that he should be allowed to sleep more because his school doesn't start until 10:00am; he probably didn't need to get up until at least 8:00. Fair enough I thought; let him be. I ate some breakfast with Tanya (toast and tea) and had just come back to the computer when I noticed that he was awake. When he saw that I saw that he was in fact awake, he straight out tried to pretend he was asleep. That doesn't work. Needing sleep is one thing but playing he dead fish is another. I tossed him out. He is doing some running right now.

Today is a big day for Egor. Well, maybe tomorrow is the big day. Egor leaves tonight on the midnight train to Minsk where tomorrow he will play his first game of the Republic of Belarus National Chess tournament. The tournament goes on for nine days, he'll play one game a day and we are all as excited as can be for him.

This is Egor's first trip to the nationals. He had fallen short the last years. A lot of this was political issues involving his old coach amongst other things, but this year he has really started to put his game together. His rating has gone up, he has been winning a lot, has been invited to a lot more local tournaments and has generally begun to look like a real player.

An enormous amount of the credit for this needs to go to Leonid Linderenko, his coach and the director of the chess club here in Pinsk. This year the children from Pinsk have shown themselves to really be something, playing well in several tournaments and winning the team tournament in Brest last month. For sure moving Egor to his care two years ago was the best move we could have made. Linderenko has a very good combination of having a soft hand yet commanding respect. Under his care Egor has started to develop a much more mature style of play and as I say, you can see this in the results.

And really, he is pretty good. I saw him play an internet game two nights ago and he busted some moves that were way over my head. I made the mistake of voicing my opinion about a move and he just looked over his shoulder at me and gave me this sly smile and promptly wreaked havoc on his opponent over the next seven moves. I was laughing so hard at how savage he was that he started laughing too. I know I give him a hard time, but give respect where respect is due; Egor can play a little.

We don't plan on going up there before the last day. This is Egor's time and we'll let him have his peace. I'm not closing the option of heading up there for a day if I get the chance, but it is not a part of the general plan. We know he is in good hands and we have a lot of respect for Linderenko. We know he'll be ok.

I guess this is usually the point where I digress into some maudlin tone of introspection, but this time I am not going to. I am proud as hell of Egor and only wish him the best of luck and hope that he finds away to play the best chess he is capable of. I think being able to participate in a nine day chess festival is an awesome opportunity. I hope he has fun and I hope he wins at least one more game than he should. I'll keep you posted with the results.

More soon…