The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog

The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog: parents Guy and Ludmila with children NM Ethan and WIM Naomi

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tacoma Chess, Art and Cars

Cadillac Eldorado vs. Tucker 48; Chihuly vs. Escher; Naomi vs. big guys

Tacoma Chess Club March Open Sundays started on Sunday, March 9, 2014, and continued next Sunday, March 16, 2014. Two games per day with FIDE time control: 90 minutes, with 30 seconds increment. Naomi needs to train for this FIDE time control and Tacoma has many things to offer to accompanying parents.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Total 8 players showed up, many of them big bearded guys dwarfing Naomi (10).  She started the game fearlessly, while we went off to hunt for the city attractions.

First we dived into the huge LeMay America's Car Museum ( opposite Tacoma Dome.  It bested our expectations, by far.  Each of its many sections could be a fascinating full-blown museum by itself: Beetle Exhibit, Showcase Gallery, Custom Coachworks, Master Collection, Ferrari in America, Alternative, Nascar, British.


We are not merely looking at these cars, we are unconsciously imagining our relationships with them.  Just like when looking at a pinup girl or a movie starlet -- in a very benign way.  It's not really a betrayal of our nice, practical and reliable Hondas and Toyotas, it's just "How would I look driving this car?  What life could I have owning it back then?"  For that one minute of looking at this car you get to live that virtual life, supposedly full of adventure, excitement and style.


1953 Cadillac Eldorado

Naomi lost in Round 1 to a FIDE Master.  We fed her in Panda Express and she sat for Round 2 at 2pm.  As always in Tacoma, we went for a walk along the Thea Foss Waterway near the Museum of Glass.  Naomi won the second round and retained her chances for a nice prize.

On the Saturday before the next tournament Sunday, Naomi skied nonchalantly at the Snoqualmie Summit, like on many other Saturdays this winter.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

National Master Viktors Pupols is a legend.  In 1955 he beat young Bobby Fischer with a Latvian Gambit. This is one of only two games that Fischer ever lost on time.  During the first Tacoma Open Sunday on March 9, Viktors Pupols was playing at the Reykjavik Open in Iceland (March 4-12).  Right after returning from Iceland, he went to play in the second Tacoma Open Sunday on March 16.  

When we saw Viktors Pupols paired with Naomi in Round 3, both of us took a deep breath and saw that halo of glory above him.  Naomi said: "Yeah, I know him.  Most likely he will win."  But Ethan beat him once at Seattle Chess Club, maybe she can too?  We threw her into the lion's den and drove away to
Point Defiance Park for a beach walk with a nice view.

When we came back, Naomi was still battling Pupols.  It was a long, difficult game.  We went out to check on Tacoma Art Museum, and then got her phone call.  Naomi won.  Now both our kids beat the player who beat Bobby Fischer.  Life well lived!  

Ralph Anthony 036.JPG
Naomi "The Hair" (white) vs. Viktors "The Fischer Slayer" (black), courtesy Ralph Anthony

With Panda Express Kids Meal sustaining her brain and body, Naomi started the final Round 4 at 2pm, while we went to visit Tacoma Art Museum.  

This museum first entered our hearts with a great exhibition of Norman Rockwell works on May 1, 2011, during the Washington Scholastic Chess Championships.  This time the notable exhibitions were: A Punch of Color, Optic Nerve, Chihuly Gifts.

Naomi won Round 4 and got a $120 prize, obviously happy.


Tournament organizer H.G. Pitre awards Naomi $120 prize

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