Third time’s a charm. Maybe this would be the game I didn’t go down a Bishop. It would help if I played a tactically poor opponent.
Looking at my bespectacled, Indian opponent, I could see the bloom of new life in him. He couldn’t have been alive for more than eight or nine years. Knowing he started 1.5/2, I fully expected him to play a few hundred points above his rating.
He seemed a bit shy, but not so much that he wouldn’t talk at all. I asked him about the tournament so far; it turned out his first “game” was a full-point bye. It was a bit of a relief to know he wasn’t simply having a monster tournament.
As usual, we shook hands before the game started, but he gave this really limp handshake. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because he was young and shy. But it felt like one of those weak, awkward handshakes some women give, because they think you’ll take it as a sign of sexual attraction if the hand contact lasts a tenth of a second more than absolutely necessary.
As the game went on, I noticed Mr. Jacob looking at other games. A lot. It didn’t seem like he was ever looking at our board when it wasn’t his turn. It’s almost like he didn’t have the attention span to play a G/120. Once I actually started playing with a plan (after noticing “Wow, I can expand on the Kingside!”), there was very little reason to doubt victory. Black never had a serious threat the entire game.