Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure was packed for the big shopping weekend.
Luckily there was enough room for a chessboard....
Two weeks ago I ran into my friend Mike Jeter on the Des Moines Skywalk and arranged to head over to Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure for some coffeehouse chess with Mike and Dan Troxell on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The timing was extra perfect because when Ben needed to get to the airport in Des Moines on Saturday at 5am for his flight back to school I readily volunteered to get up at 2:30 to take him there because I would be in town to play chess anyway.
After dropping Ben off at the airport it was still hours before Zanzibar’s even opened so I headed to my office in downtown Des Moines for a couple of hours and headed to Zanzibar’s at 7:30. No one was going to get there until 8:30 so I bought a giant mug of Ethiopian Coffee, an everything bagel with cream cheese, the Des Moines Register and $5.25 later was sitting at a table reading the paper, drinking my coffee, and eating my bagel. I brought along my camera to take some pictures for my blog. I was also hopeful of catching some of the many famous people that tend to stop in Zanzibar's for the fine coffee. In the past, I've captured pictures of Richard Gere, James Brolin, and Robin Williams (you can see them here). No one ever believes that these celebrities are actually who I say they are, but I maintain that they are experts at slightly disguising their looks and avoiding direct frontal photographs to keep the paparazzi at bay.
On the left is my friend Dan Troxell : poet, beer maker, comic collector and chess player. On the right is one of the many celebrities who happen into Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure. I believe that is World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen getting a cup of Ethiopian Coffee just like me. You can compare this pic with other images of the champ (at better angles of course) by clicking here.
Dan and I just started another game when Mike came in. He sat at the counter eating breakfast while Dan and I contested another 10 minute game.
Dan wasn’t in top form and I was feeling pretty good about my play when Mike and I sat down to play our game. I topped off my cup of Ethiopian Coffee before sitting down to make the most mistakes I've made in some time and also one of the longest games I've ever played (so long that I had to break up the game into two parts!)
Steve is on the left, Zack is in the center, and on the right is someone who looked suspiciously like former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. You can click here to compare this picture with other images of the ex-champ (who may have been looking for some pointers).
After playing for three hours straight, I was ready to take a nap but because I was the 'guest' player Steve and Dan both wanted to play me. So I loaded up with another giant cup of Ethiopian coffee and went back at it against Steve.
By this point I was feeling a little punch drunk, but Dan wanted to play another game before he left:
We all spent some time going over the titanic game with Mike before Dan and Zack left. It was about one in the afternoon and I played one more game against Steve before leaving.