Or at least, it is in othello terminology. Today was the traditional "Christmas tournament", traditionally held some time around the end of November. I was meaning to get the very early train down to Cambridge this morning, and so set my alarm clock last night for some time before the crack of dawn, but then forgot to turn the alarm on. I did wake up in time - I generally wake up just before my alarm goes off, whatever time it's set for - but decided that since the alarm hadn't gone off yet, it must not be time to get up, and just lay around dozing until I finally decided to look at the clock and noticed that the train I was meaning to get had left five minutes earlier.
Still, I got the quarter-past-seven train with no problems, trusting that the half-nine starting time would really mean ten o'clock or a bit later, as it usually does, and I got to the Junior Parlour at Trinity College (the traditional location) just after ten. I was greeted with "Well, that buggers everything up, doesn't it!" from Aubrey, who'd just finished inputting everybody's name into the computer and pressed the button to generate the pairings for round one. Still, it turned out to be easy to fix.
The tournament itself went reasonably well - I lost to David Beck and Helen Starkey, then went on a sort of winning rampage, beating Roy, David Hand, Adelaide and Aidan before finally losing to Imre. Four out of seven is sort of what I aim for at this kind of thing, so I'm quite satisfied. I also surprised everyone by consistently playing the diagonal opening, which I never do - I'm very boring in my choice of openings normally, so I'd decided to make an effort to do weird and unusual things in this competition. Whether it helped or hindered me, I'm not sure. I was white in four games, in one of which I forgot I was playing the diagonal today and went perpendicular without thinking, and the other three games were my losses to David B and Imre, who generally beat me whatever I'm playing, and my win against Roy, who I generally beat. So it's hard to really analyse, and the only conclusion we can draw is that I'm a mediocre othello player.
Still, getting home tonight was unusually easy, given how hard it is to travel to and from Cambridge by train - I got to the station at exactly the right moment to catch the 18:12, and only had to sit around at Ely for twenty minutes or so to get on the Nottingham train. So, that's all the othelloing until next February, and now we're into the long winter mind-sports-free closed season. It's terribly boring.