Friday, 10 June 2011

A break from the baize - Day 3 & 4 in Sofia

Sofia is a beautiful city. It was only last night that John and I fully appreciated the diverse mix of culture, style and cuisine that Sofia has to offer.
While I had a 'free' day with no match on Thursday, my tournament hit the wall on Wednesday when I lost my second group game, to the experienced Israeli Yakov Shaashua. Again as in my first match, I somehow 'switched off' having secured a 2-0 lead only to watch my opponent rightly get back into the game. He gained renewed confidence as the match progressed, winning three frames on the spin to secure his second victory of the event, and my first defeat. Yakov's compatriot and my good friend Doron Lavie reminded me this morning about the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. He is a very wise man.

My own team mate John McIntyre really struggled with the conditions on Thursday, and I fully understand where he is coming from. While the heat and humidity is quite severe at the club venue, the hotel can be equally as challenging for the players as John later testified. This together with the early start (10.00) really didn't suit him and he lost for the second time. The heat really is on for him now, and a victory in his next match is paramount. For me, I have a tough match against Frenchman Gilles Grzeskowick and this time I will remember Doron's wise words.

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