My father died in a car accident on Memorial Day 1967. I was ten years old and he was forty-two. I thought he had lived a long life.
As a UPS driver the route I had traversed the spot where he died. I crossed it twice a day for over thirty years and thought about him every time.
He wasn’t much of a father. He drank and was seldom home. I spent my youth looking for someone to say one nice thing about him. I never heard a nice story or one good thing. The only thing my older sister would say when asked was, “He was never there.” My brother only spoke once of him to say, “He was the meanest son of a bitch who ever lived.” My brother and sister have both passed so I’ll never get any more. Oh well.
I know so little about him. I know he graduated from Eaton High School He fought in WWII in the South Pacific. I have a box full of photographs. I would have loved to ask him about them, opportunities lost. I know where he worked and where he drank. I would give anything for a conversation that will never happen.
As I mentioned in my last post my colonoscopy went well. I have another one in a few weeks and then one a year for the rest of my life.
Coincidentally my first cousin just had genetic testing. She had colon cancer, as did her father and brother. Thankfully she is well now. Turns out she has Lynch Syndrome or Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer Syndrome (HNPCC). It is a mutation in the MSH2 gene. It all makes sense now. Men with Lynch Syndrome have a 60% to 80% lifetime risk of colorectal cancer and women have a 40% to 60% lifetime risk of endometrial cancer.
It’s important that everyone in the family gets genetic testing. I’ll be in contact and getting the word out.
It’s been a few years since I’ve had a colonoscopy. Work and then retirement, taking care of my brother and then my mom seemed to keep me from thinking about myself. I finally got around to setting up the colonoscopy.
I hate dealing with doctors and even more with insurance. I was told I had to pay up front $318 ($100 co-pay and $218 for my %20). That was acceptable and then I was told that was only if they found something. If nothing was found then I was responsible for the entire bill. It was explained to me that if nothing was found then it is considered screening which isn’t covered. If something is found it is considered diagnostic. You’d think that my family history would guarantee me the coverage. My grandfather, uncle, aunt and three cousins have had colon cancer. I want to be healthy but at the same time wanted them to find a little something.
I began the prep but was incredibly nervous. I couldn’t figure why at first but then things began to gel. Things have been going very well for me. In the past month I’ve placed first in four poker tournaments, second it two, first in my division in a chess tournament and my life is really coming together.
This summer is my fortieth high school reunion and one of my old friends is posting pictures of all of our classmates who have died. Seeing that and all of the death that I’ve seen in the past couple years has had a profound effect on me. Like I said, life is going so well I expected the worst.
The prep for the colonoscopy is a lot easier now and it really works. I think I lost some earwax and a filling.
The procedure went well and they found nine polyps and a flat spot so I have to get another colonoscopy in a month. From now on I need to have one once a year.
I’m not dying so now I need to double down and get my life in gear. I no longer have any excuses.
We cut the cord a year or so ago and watch Netflix or Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus gives you commercials and repeats the same one over and over. Right now there is a commercial for a show called Endgame. It’s about a former world chess champion that solves crimes out of his apartment because he is agoraphobic. I can relate as my mother was agoraphobic. In the promo on of the actors says, “He can’t go anywhere, he’s an agorafruitcake.” Every time I hear it I get annoyed and each time I get a little more annoyed. It’s probably the reason that I haven’t watched the show.
I can’t find the same clip on YouTube that I see in the promos but this will suffice.
Here are my thoughts on The Parma Open (in no particular order)
♠ Clocks & Time Limits: In the old days every game was sudden death. I loved it as I am a very fast player. With the add on of five seconds per move I can’t conceive of a game where I would lose on time. This is a big plus for me.
♣In Game One I offered a draw when I saw the game as equal and he quickly accepted. I’ve analysed the game and see he had a slight advantage. I believe given enough time he could have worked out a win. It would have taken him a lot of moves. He had used forty minutes of his allotted forty-five minutes so I can see why he quickly took the draw.
♥In each game I was incredibly calm and in control the whole time. When I used to play I was much more insecure and nervous. I attribute much of that to aging and my poker playing. In poker you have to control your emotions and think things through. It carries over.
♦Both of my games when I played black I played Petrov’s Defence and had good games but I think I should probably play something else. 2. … Nc6 allows so much and 2. … C5 is a possibility. I’ll give it some thought.
This is a process. I did the same thing with poker, slowly adjusting my game until I started winning consistently. I am studying with my old chess friends and I think if I stay on track I can get my master title.
Now I felt good. What really surprised me was how relaxed I was at the table. It’s a very similar feeling as when I am at the poker table. Now I had 2½ points and even if I lost the last game I would feel good.
I talked with my new friends and Ryan K. even bought me some pizza for helping him. He said he won the second game because he did what I told him and didn’t trade off his pieces. Good for him. I think he has the makings of a real chess player. It was time for the fourth and final game.
My fourth game was against Zhaosu Ye. He was a young Asian guy who had a lot of odd ticks. He seemed nervous and took a great deal of time. One move eight he took nearly 10 minutes, in a 45 minute game!? He played Alekhine’s and I decided to play the Maroczy Variation. I felt it would throw him a little off-balance. I was comfortable if it transposed over to a King’s Indian. I found it odd that he kept moving his knight on f3 and then back. I was surprised with his rating that his pieces were never coordinated. At least he resigned when it was obvious I was going to win with a pawn up and a passed pawn. One more thing, he used 42 minutes and I used 17. Here is the game:
Parma Open Game 4
White: Randall Bott
Black: Zhaosu Ye
1. e4 Nf6 2. d3 e5 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 d6 5. Be2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. c3 exf4 8. Bxf4 Nd7 9. d4 Nf6 10. Qc2 d5 11. Nbd2 dxe4 12. Nxe4 Nd5 13. Bd2 Nf6 14. Bd3 h6 15. Rae1 b6 16. Ng3 Re8 17. Bb5 Bd7 18. Bc4 Na5 19. Bd3 Bd6 20. Nf5 Rxe1 21. Nxe1 Bf8 22. b3 Nb7 23. Bf4 Nd6 24. Be5 Nxf5 25. Bxf5 Bxf5 26. Qxf5 Be7 27. Nd3 Qd5 28. c4 Qe4 29. Qxe4 Nxe4 30. Bxc7 1-0
I tied for first in the U2000 with Donald McClendon and we split the prize money. I gained over 100 points in my rating and I’m a step closer to my dream of a Master rating.
Retirement is good.
I was feeling pretty good. At least I wouldn’t go home embarrassed.
The third game was very interesting as I had been studying the Scotch Gambit a great deal of the past few months and the Steinitz attack in the Petrov’s felt very much like it. I didn’t want to play the main lines. I felt trying to keep the pawn was a recipe for disaster and there are a lot of traps all around this opening. I will probably fully annotate this game in a few days but here it is.
Parma Open Game 3
White: Ryan Tester
Black: Randall Bott
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 d5 7. exd6 Bxd6 8. Qxd4 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Qd3 Bg4 11. Ng5 g6 12. Nc3 Bf5 13. Qf3 (At this point I saw Nxf7 and quickly saw the refutation. That is why I quickly pushed the pawn on h6, hoping he would take the pawn on f7) 13… h6 14. Nxf7 Rxf7 15. g4 Ne5 16. Qxb7 Nxg4 17. h3 Qh4 18. Qf3 Nh2 19. Qe2 Nxf1 20. Kxf1 Qxh3+ 21. Ke1 Qh1+ 22. Qf1 Re8+ 23. Be3 Qxf1+ 24. Kxf1 Be6 25. Bxh6 Rh7 26. Re1 Kf7 27. Bxe6+ Rxe6 28. Rxe6 Kxe6 29. Be3 c6 Plus ten more moves 0-1
The game went on another ten moves. I felt he should resign being a rook down but he hoped that he would be able to fork my rook or other such nonsense. I’ll probably fully annotate this in the future.