This is the big tournament of the year for us. It is the Carlos Torre Repetto Memorial Tournament. Grand Master Carlos Torre is considered to have been, and still is (after 80 years), the greatest chess player México has produced. His crowning year was 1925 when he was 21 years old. The next year he stopped playing chess competitively.
We went to register for the tournament today and met with some typical frustration. Registration is to be Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm of this week. Today is Tuesday. We were there at a little after 11:00. They could not take our registration information because the computer was not on site yet. This is the computer that holds all the rating information to verify which group each participant will play in. We were told to come back in an hour and the computer should be there and be set up.
I was a bit frustrated with this. That meant that anyone who showed up previous to that time (at least 2 hours worth of people this morning) were turned away and told to come back to register. This is an International event. We have several Grand Masters from around the world who will be participating with us. Vassily Ivanchuk, the Ukrainian Grand Master and number 1 ranked player in his country will be here as well as Sergey Tiviakov the number one ranked Grand Master in Holland. The current champion of Cuba will be with us…and the list goes on. But yet, we can’t register because the computer has not arrived.
I later asked about what they did for registration yesterday when they said they did not have $7 change for my $20. “Registration yesterday?” Yes, you guessed it. They did not even have anyone there the whole registration time yesterday even though it is on the first page of the registration guidelines that were given out to all hopeful participants.
So, anyway, we left and came back about 30 minutes later. This was only because there was also a book fair going on near there that we had planned to attend. When we returned there was a computer on the table with a mouse and keyboard, but no monitor. We were assured that the monitor would be right there and they would be able to start registration very soon.
Twenty minutes later when the monitor arrived, I knew registration would not start in any reasonable time. The monitor was brand new. I looked at the computer, it too had evidence of having been freshly unpacked. Keyboard and mouse were pristine. I suspect that there was not a bit of software on that computer except the operating system. We would have had to wait through the whole setting up a new computer mess before we could register.
About that time my son’s chess teacher arrived. He greeted us and I begged to be allowed to register and they could look up the info later. The teacher talked them into it.
In the process the teacher pointed me to a rule in the guidelines that I was hoping did not apply to me. It says “All international players who do not have FIDE rating and are over the age of 16 must register in the [I don’t know the translation into proper English chess terminology] first force [primera fuerza].” This basically means that I would be playing in the same category with the Grand Masters and International Masters as well as all those with a rating over 1900. My rating (sub-1100) would normally put me in the fourth force. But my rating is with the Mexican Chess Federation and not with FIDE, the World Chess Federation.
If I got paired with Vassily Ivanchuk (currently ranked #7 in the world), that would have been an honor to play with him. But, that would not have been a fair game for him.
But the real problem for me is that to play in the fourth grouping would cost $35. Which is a lot of money for me to go in and play knowing that I have little to no chance of making any of it back by winning. Especially since I have only been playing a little over a year and not seriously at that. But, registration for the first grouping is $90. That is out of the question. So, I am not playing. Just my son.
The tournament starts on Thursday of this week, but my son’s rounds won’t start till Tuesday of next. He is in a sub-10 year old category which only plays 6 rounds instead of the 9 rounds the big boys will play.