Thursday, June 4, 2009

the Marshall Wednesday Under 2000 tournament, the matriarchal Mosuo of China

I don't usually stop by the Marshall on Wednesdays, but this week my lesson rescheduled. (I have one, very interesting adult student, a wall street trader and professional poker player who knows relatively little about chess but is incredibly smart and quick to understand games.)

So I'm walking down 10th street, and there is a very good-looking, well dressed man walking toward me and I allow myself to just stare at him* as we approach each other. He's looking back at me, (hurray!) but at that moment I reach the Marshall and veer right.

To my utter surprise, he turns also. Why is he going to the Marshall?? I have never seen him before and there is no way he is a chessplayer.

I'm so astonished I can't say anything, and then I walk in and the place is filled with good-looking, well-dressed 25-40 year old men. (!) It turns out they are all there to play in the under 2000 tournament. It was like I'd entered a weird, beautiful alternate universe**.

My new goal is to lose 100 rating points.




An amusing article on the matriarchal society of the Mosuo people of China:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Does the concept of marriage exist for the Mosuo?
Coler: Yes, the children are even threatened with it: "If you aren't good, then we will marry you off."

Maybe if it doesn't work out with the Under 2000 tournament, I'll move to China. Thanks to Alan Stein for the link.



*ok, yes, it's been so long, I now openly stare at total strangers in the street.

** one of them did approach me, but only to ask the sad question I get asked at every tournament by an attractive stranger: "Are you Jennifer Shahade?"

23 comments:

brennanprice said...

We C players are hot. :-)

es_trick said...

** one of them did approach me, but only to ask the sad question I get asked at every tournament by an attractive stranger: "Are you Jennifer Shahade?"

Incredible!!


I'm an Asian, and have spent most of my live living in places where Asians are few and far between, and it's always steamed me every time someone thinks I'm some other person with whom they have a passing acquaintance, as if to say "you all look alike."

I can't help but chuckle at the thought that to some (evidently socially challanged, albeit "attractive" male) chess players seem to think that all female chess players look alike!?

es_trick said...

live /life . . .

BTW, no need to lose 100 rating points. After all, wasn't it Kelly McGillis, the more knowing flight instructor, who snagged Tom Cruise in Top Gun?

Elizabeth Vicary said...
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Elizabeth Vicary said...

I want to play in this tournament amongst all these hot men.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

maybe they will let me for some reason because I'm female?

soissons said...
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Anonymous said...

Knowing how competitive chess players are and how obseessed they are with their ratings (and I'm guilty on both counts), they would not voluntarily drop 100 rating points for Brad Pitt or Angela Jolie.

Ed Scimia said...

If there's a causal relationship between being rated under 2000 and attractiveness, maybe I should rethink my goal of making expert in the next year.

I mean, Class A sounds pretty impressive to non-chess players anyway. What's better than an A?

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

If guys under 2000 are good looking, I must be a freakin Adonis!

John.

Philip Sells said...

John aka Endgame Clothing: I do find that classic old-school look rather nifty. :)

ATH2044 said...

"ok, yes, it's been so long, I now openly stare at total strangers in the street." Hilarious & incredible, maybe you should try writing a movie script.

"one of them did approach me, but only to ask the sad question..." A Kathy Griffin (I'd link this, but I'm trying to cut down out of deference to mildly annoyed anonymous posters.) moment if ever there was one. It sort of indicates that you (& Jenn & chess notables in general) are probably more recognizable by name than face. I guess if people don't go to the right tournaments & don't really read Chess Life, they wouldn't know you on sight implausible though it seems.

Instead of losing 100 rating points, wouldn't it be easier just to come up with a weekly excuse to go to the Marshall on Wednesday? You might also approach the organizers with the idea of "Under 2000 or Titled Female" so that the lower rated players would have a chance to earn norms towards their WFM & WIM titles.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

I get mistaken for other female chess players all the time-- the new manager of the Marshall asked me if I was Abby Marshall recently. (she's 17 and lives in Virginia)

Thanks for thinking I'm funny, but I think to write a screen play I need a little more ... coherence? I like blogging, it's so easy and impulsive.

soissons said...

I been mistaken for woody allen on several occasions, both in the US and abroad...but just think how many times women are approached at tournaments all over the country, maybe the world, with the line, "are you elizabeth vicary??!"

Anonymous said...

ooooh lizzy has a boyfriend

did you ask him his name when you got inside

katar said...

if you are 2100 you will be a goddess to those peasants under 2000. surely you can take your pick of the lot and arrange a coffee house meeting for blitz and chat. what could be easier? this is like +-. when people stop me and say i look "familiar" i tell them i was in a mountain dew commercial a few years ago. :p

anjiaoshi said...

Damn. All the good jokes have been made already.

Anonymous said...

And I always thought you could determine the rating of a female chessplayer by taking the rating of her boyfriend and subtracting 300. ;-)

Seriously though, as I recall, between looks and smarts you should have your pick of chess players, for what that's worth. I don't know if I'd limit myself to just chess players though. It's a great game, but some people claim there is a whole world outside those squares.

Anonymous said...

That man she saw was Jay Bonin.

ATH2044 said...

I agree with katar, you should have the pick of the litter pretty much anywhere you go.

I'm surprised that the new manager of the Marshall doesn't know what Abby Marshall looks like being as how they're spelled the same.

Limiting yourself to just chess players (not that you're doing that) is probably unnecessarily restrictive. It keeps you in an arena where you have proven credentials & the instant the respect of thousands, but my guess is you're so multi-talented that you don't need that crutch.

Some of this stuff is addressed on Millionaire Matchmaker in a slightly different context, so there's some potentially useful information there.

To anon 10:58 AM: There's no way it was Jay Bonin; he's over 2000.

Leon Akpalu said...

The next time someone asks you if you're Jen, you'll just have to answer yes! ;-) It'll get the ball rolling, at least.

Besides -- then the (usually stupid) comment "Wow, you're so much taller in person" will actually be appropriate...

Elizabeth Vicary said...

I'd like to thank all the anonymous strangers who think I should not be lonely.

online-poker-play said...
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