Last weekend, I was relaxing after my Orland Scholastic with my good friend Theo Poulos and NM Dr. Steven Tennant. To those of you that don't know Steve, let me give you a quick rundown.
Steve is an amazingly talented player who was a state champion in the 70's, who even has a few GM scalps to his credit. He hasn't played that often for many years due to a grudge that he holds with the ICA, which for everyone's sanity I won't recap here. Steve is brilliant to a fault, the fault being that he can be very rigid in his ideas and doesn't play well with others. Still I feel loyalty to Steve as every week in the mid to late 80's he would show up every week at the Orland Chess club mercilessly whupping us, and was very responsible for turning many of us teenage punks into experts or masters.
Well, Theo was predicting my return to tournament play in 2008 and that I would gain the roughly 95 rating points to get my long awaited master title. Steve matter of factly stated, "I doubt it". When I inquired as to why that was he explained that "if you don't make master by age 22, you won't ever do it". While he is correct that the difficulty level goes way up, due more to real life stresses and less time for study, it is not such an oddity for a player to make master after the age of 22.
So the thing to do in order to prove Steve wrong would be to play a match against him. So even though Steve has a lifetime record of greater than 90% against me, I say, "Bring it!" I am challenging him to a match for sometime in 2008. I plan on hopefully updating this story when Steve accepts my challenge, and announcing the date when it becomes available.
Time to start training.