The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late ~Charles Caleb Colton

The South African Open started last weekend.Originally we were meant to play at ours but our flatmate was hosting his 30th Birthday party here so we had to find an alternative venue. Gawain, IM Puchen Wang (NZL) and IM Mirko Rujecvic (Aus) agreed to play in this tournament online organized by ChessCube. These will be the first ever games played online which will be FIDE rated. At our end IA Gary Bekker will be here to arbitrate in South Africa Jacques Ophoff I believe.

We played at Mirko house, up at 1am to get there bright and early (as games started at 2.30am). When we arrived we were greeted by Mirko as well as birds that flapped and tweeted,a very cute puppy named Monty and a turtle that got excited whenever Gawain went near it. The first round started with a delay so the boys didn’t start playing until 3.30am I also forgot to bring a book so had to make do with Mirko’s wife’s magazines. They won in about 4hours and then off to bed it was for us. They had another game at 5.30pm (the first of two double round days) and they played again well reaching 2/2 each. The third round at 2.30am again started late but everyone was so tired I was on cooking duty and making sure no one fell asleep in this round Gawain noted the pairings were a bit strange as he had a 2300 while Mirko played a 1600. In the next round though Gawain got a 1600 but this guy was quite tough with some good results. He won this eventually after a long endgame. That ended the double round days and we were so relieved. Waking up at midday then playing again in the afternoon then napping again was not good for our bodies nor our eating habits. In round 5 Puchen took a quick draw due to exhaustion while Gawain played Mirko and though they were sitting next each other they continued to play on ChessCube. It was an exchange spanish (as was their last match which ended as a draw last round in Vic Open) in which Mirko offered a draw to Gawain but he chose to play on and at 6 in the morning Gawain eventually prevailed. Today we lazed around, trying to get out body clocks back into sync. Now the rounds have changed from originally being at 2.30am to 3.00am due to the South African players needing to be transported from the playing venue to the ChessCube offices to be able to play online. Today Gawain has a tough test black against IM Amon Simutowe. I’ll be awake to make him Milo (unlike yesterday where i decided to dose downstairs) and read girly magazines or watch a film. I also booked our accommodation for Chiang Mai (a week to go!!)and we have confirmed to play in Porto San Giorgio after Staunton.

Time to doze now for an hour before the game.

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