Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Three-Day Blow: Hurricane Sandy

[photo of Atlantic City by Mario Tama/Getty Images]

Ernest Hemingway might have described Hurricane Sandy  as "the three-day blow." Not only have the leaves been blown from the trees, but the lives of people in New Jersey have changed. Yesterday Barack Obama visited the state.

I have witnessed some astonishing sights: an uprooted tree that crashed through the roof of a house; people in the park taking pictures of downed trees on their cell phones; dozens of cars lined up at a gas station.

This week, my after school enrichment classes in Randolph have been canceled because the schools where I teach chess are closed. My students in Mountain Lakes, Fanwood, and Bridgewater have postponed their lessons because of the storm.

Where I live, from Monday night until this morning, there was no electrical power and no landline phone or Internet service.

By day I drove to a little store, in a nearby town with no power outage, where I could access the Internet and recharge my cell phone for a reasonable fee.  My recent posts originated from there.

By night I studied the Philidor Counter Gambit with Fritz8 on my laptop and listened to music on my CD player.  Both devices are battery powered.

Thinking like a chess player, I would estimate Sandy's strength at approximately FIDE 2300: strong enough to obtain a clear advantage, but not strong enough to defeat me.