This blog is about a wide range of topics, their common denominator being simply that I'm interested in them. My aim is to relieve my friends of my constant lecturing about such things as e.g. Chess, Football, Languages or Scandinavian Music ...

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Freezing Frenzy

As temperatures in Germany fell to -20°C I spent my weekend in Bad Homburg, where I worked as an arbiter and chaperon at the Hessian Under-8 Youth Championship. Carrying my heavy rucksack as well as my guitar, I was lucky to reach the youth hostel, which is located at the bottom of a steep slope, just minutes before the heavy snowfall set in.

After preparing the playing hall, I made my way back to Frankfurt Friday evening in order to participate in my club's Christmas blitz tournament. This turned out to be a hell of a journey because it hadn't stopped snowing and the temperature had fallen even further. In the tournament I clinched second place behind Lather and won a nice chess book. Eventually I made it back to Bad Homburg without freezing to death on the walk from the train station to the youth hostel, which must be considered my most successful endeavour that evening.

Saturday and Sunday kept me occupied with my duties, which wasn't too complicated because children are usually able to settle disputes fairly on their own. All in all there were only two issues that took some care to handle.

The first was to explain to one child that the touch-move rule is indeed about having to move a piece once touched, no matter whether the other player complains before or after one touches another piece.

The second issue was a player who allegedly offered a draw and then didn't want to draw anymore after realising that he's a piece up. The boy tried to talk his way out of this by claiming that he'd only said "in this position I'll never agree to a draw". Anyway, after he owned up to actually having uttered the word "draw", we ruled the game drawn. So let this be a lesson to all of you out there - keep your mouth shut during a game as required by the rules. If you don't, surprising things might transpire.

After a horror trip back to Frankfurt on Sunday afternoon I concluded the weekend watching some movies with my girlfriend. Having dodged dying in the snow, I now nearly died laughing while watching Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator".

It's a satirical alienation of the Nazi regime, shot during the high tide of the regime in 1940. This was Chaplin's first talking movie, and gladly so, because I could constantly piss myself laughing at the great dictator's inauguration speech, which is rendered in some German sounding gibberish in order to mock the real one's oratory style.

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