North Market Ratings Harvest Quads Sunday, Nov 26 2006 

Although advertised as the North Market Ratings Harvest Swiss, the eight chess players who showed up this morning decided to play a three round quad instead with game in an hour rather than four games with a faster time control. Local chess Master Tom Britt won the top quad with a perfect score. I was part of the three way tie for second with one win. In the lower quad, Jim Dohnal, Marysville, won $60 for his record of two wins and a draw. Several Go players joined our enclave of tables on the second floor. The sounds and smells of the North Market were not a distraction for some interesting chess.

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Franklin Park Conservatory Saturday, Nov 25 2006 

Fiori

Fiori Exhibit

Fiori, a Chihuly garden of glass, is currently on display at the Franklin Park Conservatory. From the Italian word for “flowers,” this new piece portrays a garden landscape. The current exhibit of Chihuly’s work is not as extensive as the 2003 show. My visit, however, was both relaxing and inspiring. The waterfalls in the various areas refreshed my soul as I soaked in the rushing water’s sounds. “Torchier,” striking pieces that resemble the Indian Paintbrush, is again featured in the desert area. The Niijima Floats were surrounded by swirling koa expecting us to feed them. The massive Sunset Tower, also in the Pacific Island water garden, offered a haven for contemplation. I was captivated by the myriad leaf colors and shapes throughout the Conservatory. The varied colors of the poinsettias and the poinsettia tree provide a colorful space for considering the meaning of the upcoming holidays. Fiori provides a respite from the hurried pace of our busyness.

Kings Island Open 2006 Sunday, Nov 12 2006 

About 300 chess players participated in this year’s King Island Open. International Master Justin Sarkar and Fide Master Andrew Boekhoff tied for first place in the 30 player Open section. Only two Grandmasters played this year. Under 2200 had 42 players. I played in the largest section, the 48 player Under 2000 section. In the first round I blundered away a won position and my opponent, Federico Garcia from Pennsylvania, went on to tie for first place in the section with four points. My only win came in the second round against the 11th best eleven year old in the U.S., Michael Chiang. My only other claim to fame was playing the longest game in the fourth round. Unfortunately, I was unable to hold on for a draw. There were 47 players in the Under 1800 section, 44 in Under 1600, including two from the local club, 31 players in Under 1400, 33 in Under 1200, and 25 in Under 1000. Tournament chess is tough!