Friday, October 13, 2006

Annoying your opponent

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Veselin Topalov had a point when he complained to the organizers that Kramnik was going to the bathroom more often than necessary, suggesting unfair conduct. But I don`t think that he believed Kramnik was cheating, he was just annoyed. And so would I if my opponent stands up and go to the rest room 25 times (not 50 times as earlier reported).

As a backgrounder Vladimir Kramnik and Topalov are playing a unification match in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia for the world championship and the score now stands at 5.5-5.5 after 11 games. The 12th and last game was still being played last night and by the time you read this we will know who the winner is or if there would be tiebreaks.

According to the rules of the match if the score is level after 12 games, four tiebreak games shall be played. Time control is 25 minutes per player plus 10 seconds increment.

If the score is still level, two blitz games will be played with time control at five minutes per player, plus 10 seconds increment for each move. And if the score is still level, a single decisive sudden death game will be played with black having five minutes and white in a must win situation with six minutes.

If you want to win in chess and you don’t want to take the hard route by studying, annoying your opponent is a must. The best way is to upset his power of concentration.

There are several ways to annoy your opponent. When the chess club was still in the corner of Sanciangco and Pelaez Sts., I recall a player whom club regulars call “Karaoke” as he had the penchant of singing while playing chess. He usually sings whenever he is ahead to unnerved his opponent.

Talking is one way of distracting your opponent. Talk directly and point out his bad moves and telling him that his position is hopeless and when he complains to the arbiter, deny ever talking to him. Another common method is talking to yourself or praying loud to God.

Pretending to have a cold by sneezing or coughing and blowing your nose will distract your opponent and he will think that your illness is contagious and pass on the germs to him.

If your opponent is a slow player complain loudly or yawn or tap your fingers on the table and show him that you don’t like slowpokes.

If smoking is allowed (tournaments nowadays have a no smoking rule) blow the smoke directly at his face. Among the trickiest of players is world champion Emanuel Lasker. Although he only smokes the finest of Havana cigars, he invariably appears during tournament play smoking the vilest and lowliest of cigars. Once the great master Maroczy conceded a game rather than endure Lasker’s smoke.

Staring at your opponent deliberately with the intention to hurt him usually works if your opponent is a woman or still a kid.

Another way to annoy your opponent is to wear loud clothes or oversize neckties. The late Dr. Kanowsky, a very nervous player, claims to have lost a championship in Austria because his opponent wore a lavender and red necktie.

It is said that Frank Marshall goes into a panic if someone congratulates him before a game.

After all is said and done the best way to annoy your opponent is to make a strong move!

Cepca news. Mandy Baria, president of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association, has announced that the October tournament of the club will be on the 22nd at the Stella Maris center starting at 1pm.

Also there will be a kiddies tournament this coming Sunday at the Bibo’s chess club along Jakosalem St. starting at 1 p.m. If you want to expose your child to competitive chess now is a good chance.

NM Bombi Aznar`s chess clinics in Pardo Chess Academy (near Pardo market) for kids will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will be handled by Bombi himself and candidate masters Pipo Moreno and Boy Alejandre.

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