Friday, July 30

 The last round is at 10 AM so that people have some time for travel. Therefore, there was only time for breakfast, packing and checking out. It was a good thing I spent Thursday in Zurich because as I was worried about, I did not have much time today. That is because I was paired with an IM who wanted nothing of a quick draw. Therefore we had a long draw, as the game took nearly 6 hours. The games could go as long as 7 hours (40 moves in 2 hrs, then 20 moves in the next hour, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game). We were into the third time control when my opponent had had enough and agreed to the draw. I got my 50% score, now it is the Indianís turn to keep up or better that mark.

My game was the next to last to finish. I checked the final tally and confirmed I had won a prize! There were five prizes for those with a FIDE rating from 2100-2200.  How much I would win depended upon the last game going. That always seems to be the case for me. I thought of going to Zurich right after my game, but since the tournament was nearly finished I decided to stick around and pick up my prize in person. It would be nearly 6 PM by the time I got to Zurich anyway. I left to get a celebratory beer and when I got back the last game had ended in a draw. I win! There were five players in my rating section who also had 50% but unlike in the US, the prizes are not split but are resolved with tie-breaks. I win again! I finish first in my rating group on tie-break. Oh, happy day! I receive 500 Francs (about $400). Not nearly enough to pay for the trip, but a nice bonus. I pick up my prize and get to Zurich by 7:30 PM, only enough time to check into the hotel and have dinner.

Official cars of the Biel Chess Festival

Bill gets a prize in Biel

The sun sets on my voyage.