You know, there was a time, I can remember it well, when I knew how to play othello. Those days are gone.
I got up this morning at a reasonable time, knowing the tournament was just down the road in Leicester, so there was no need to rush around. I actually relaxed rather too much, and ended up having to hurry down to the train station after all, but I caught it in time. I realised along the way that I'd forgotten to bring my clock, but didn't think it would really matter, seeing as David was bringing the BOF supply of clocks, and we'd only be short if there was a huge number of competitors. I decided to take my bike, as I said yesterday, which may have been a mistake - I managed to get lost navigating the single, long, straight road between Leicester station and the venue.
Nonetheless, when I got there twenty minutes late, it was to find Steve, Iain and Jeremy standing around aimlessly in the church foyer, traditional venue for the tournament, with boards but no clocks. A little internet research turned up an apology from David for having overslept and being still in Colchester. With the clocks. Steve and Iain had also thought about bringing their own clocks, but neglected to do so. I suggested that we improvise an ingenious timing system using my stopwatch, Jeremy's digital watch and the clock on the wall - it would have worked just fine, but the others were sceptical. We ended up playing without clocks at all, and with plenty of discussion as to whether the tournament would count for the BGP. It probably will.
Still, my performance deserves rotten vegetables throwing at me - I lost five and drew the other, and that was a completely undeserved draw too, because Steve had a win at move 58 but somehow didn't see it. I have no idea why I'm so rubbish all of a sudden. It's depressing.
But still, in other news, I got home in time to see Barnsley demolish Chelsea in the Cup! It's slightly annoying in that I used to be the only person who knew that Barnsley won the Cup in 1912, and that there's a line in How To Be Clever about how that was the most boring F A Cup in history - now everyone will think I only picked up this knowledge because there's all this hoopla about them beating two of the big four, instead of having known it since I first started memorising cup final results last December.
But isn't it cool that the big guns are all out before the semi-finals? Just somebody knock Bristol Rovers out, please, so as not to confuse me (as explained in a previous blog). I'm not sure whether to cheer for Barnsley (who were actually the better team today and really deserve the trophy after all their giant-killing) or Portsmouth (who I generally cheer for because the last couple of years they've been playing so much better than they have any right to). On the other hand, I dislike Harry Redknapp, so I think I'll buy a Barnsley scarf. Or turn Welsh like James and support Cardiff.