All year I had plans of playing in the Medicine Hat Open. Last year when I went to this tournament I had a great time. The event is well run and very friendly, plus I have a close friend who lives in Med Hat who I rarely get to see. The tournament this year looks like their best and strongest ever. Having two GM's will always bring the strong players out of the woodwork. So why didn't I go?
Although I had intentions to play this weekend for some time, after playing in the Canadian Open my desire for chess has waned and it hasn't come back yet. August is also my busiest time at work with our annual budget preparations, and I haven't had any time for chess. Needless to say with no time and little desire I haven't played much and I certainly haven't studied anything. I don't think I'm in very good form at this moment and the few online speed games I have played seemed to indicate as much as I dropped 150 points in not many games.
Another thing that always has to be considered before going to a weekend tournament is family harmony. One time I made the mistake of going to a tournament when my wife thought I had better things to do that weekend. That is a mistake I don’t want to repeat. My wonderful wife is very understanding of my hobby, but sometimes she can't understand the attraction that chess players have to spending valuable time and money, crowding into small rooms for hours at a time, and putting themselves under enormous mental strain all for the chance to win a few measly rating points and maybe, if you’re lucky, sharing in a three way tie for a prize that will not cover your gas back home.
Right now, I'm not sure when I will play in a tournament again. The Alberta Open is always a good tourney but it’s on the thanksgiving weekend and I don’t think I want to leave my family at home then and I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a hotel.
My prediction for the Medicine Hat Open is a two way tie between Hansen and one of the GM’s