I am a judge at the Court of Appeals of Versailles, in the suburbs of Paris, being in the French Judiciary since 1992. I decide on Labour Law cases most of the time, though maybe 6 or 7 times a year I have to get involved in criminal law cases. Before 1992 I was a music teacher. It does not make sense to come from Classical Music to Law and Judiciary, I agree. It took me nearly 8 years to achieve it, and now I am wondering if I was right ...
I'm have been playing chess since I was a kid. After it became annoying to play against my father - who made it a rule of being bad tempered when losing - I joined a club in Paris when I was a teenager, the "Club Rive Gauche", where I played thousands of blitz games against whoever was there, young, old, men, women. The place was a kind of large Café-Brasserie during the day and, around 7 pm, changed to a chess stadium, with a crowd of people playing, talking loud, insulting, whispering, or standing next to you and throwing a "that was bad" when you just played your move. I learned a lot during this time. I started correspondence chess in 1984 because I was then married, a father, and living in the far suburbs of Paris. I could not make it anymore to the Club Rive Gauche. I did not enjoy CC at once, because it was so slow and I had to write down all my analysis (otherwise my head was empty when I received my opponent's move on a card 10 or 15 days after I sent mine). But I got used to it and finally became addicted when I found pen friends among my opponents. One of them, may he rest in peace, is now dead. He lived in South Africa and I welcomed him in France serveral times. He and his wife were our guests at home. After he'd had his daily sightseeing, we used to played chess, smoke cigarettes and drink beers at night in my garden. Well, this is becoming too sentimental. Anyway, after computers were allowed in the ICCF I had to restart my way of playing from scratch and it is only now that I'm rated more or less the same as in the old days. I think I can get higher, not that much but a bit, and my dream would be to one day become an ICCF International Master.
Now in 2010, not only am I playing this NFL ICCF tourney, but I managed to qualify - first time ever - to the French national Championship. So this year there will be few games, and I'll play them as slow and deep as necessary.
To put an end at the story, I discovered NFL through TV satellite sports channel 3 years ago. I liked it very much because, even before I tried to understand the rules, I found it to be a splendid sport show. I'm now following with great interest The New Orleans Saints - this city has always been very close to me because of its French origins and its music. I'm proud to support them through chess!