So finally I'm back in Penang after eight days away from home. Had been spending time at the Malaysia Chess Festival. For the second year running, I was taking part in the senior open tournament there. Last year there were 18 players in the field but a decision by the organisers to lower the age limit from 55 years to 50 years meant that more could take part. This year the players increased to 29.
Personally, I say that it was not a wise decision to lower the age limit. It allowed many younger players to muscle their way into a competition that was not meant for them. Besides, it has always been accepted in this country that 55 is the retirement age (as least for the private sector) and anyone past this age would be termed a "senior."
Nevertheless I'm quite glad that I participated. But it took me a while to get going again. The long lay-offs from playing competition chess, even in the local chess scene, had meant that I was out of touch mentally and competitively. Losing my sense of danger too and opening myself to dangerous attacks. That was how I capitulated in my first and last games.
Still, getting four and a half points from nine games wasn't that all too bad. Many of the participants ended up with this score, myself among them too. But I wouldn't complain over an extra half point or even a full point, would you?
My only consolation is that I may finally end up with an international rating. Imagine that, I've been in the game for more than 40 years and this could be my time in the Fide rating list! As I had played three rated players last year and six this year, I should have satisfied the condition of a minimum of nine games against rated players. But I don't expect my rating points to be high; I'll be happy enough if it ever touches 2000 points.
Anyway, it's still early days and the Malaysian Chess Federation still has to submit the rating report to the World Chess Federation. But I should know by end of the year...