Saturday, April 12, 2008

10 ways to tell you are winning

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

ALTHOUGH sometimes comical, these are true incidents. These gentlemen are not ordinary players but the cream of the crop. It just shows that the game can bring out the worst of even the sanest individual in some situations. Many thanks to Coach Leopold Lacrimosa of Scottsdale, AZ, for compiling this list.

1.) Your opponent stands on the table yelling at the top of his lungs “Why must I lose to this IDIOT!” ala Aaron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) who is considered one of the most influential players and writers in chess history and whose influence is still felt today. Many chess openings and variations are named after him, the most famous being the Nimzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4)

2.) Your opponent leaves the tournament hall without resigning or stopping the chess clock and doesn’t return alaCurt Von Bardeleben (1861-1924), a German chess master who committed suicide by jumping out of a window in 1924. He was playing world champion Wilhem Steinitz in Hastings 1895 when he did this.

3.) Your opponent begins to complain about interference by spectators, the noise of traffic, toothache, headache, backache, the foulness of your breath, bad lighting, blinding lighting, defective chessman, a board too large, a board too small, hypnotism, the Government, the IRS, ala Amos Burn (1866-1912), an Englishman who was one of the strongest players in the 19th century and a writer. He was known for his superior defensive ability.

4.) In an adjourned position, your opponent seals the move “Aufgegeben” (riddle) ala Hans Mueller (1896-1971)

5.) Your opponent picks up his king and throws it across the room, ala Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946), former world champion who was known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style and was a highly-regarded chess writer.

6.) Your opponent starts mumbling “Nobody has ever won a game by resigning,” ala Xavier Tartakower (1887-1956), a Russian born French chess player, writer and 1935 polish champion famous for his quote “There is only one mistake in chess—underestimating your opponent.”

7.) Your opponent shows his overwhelming disgust by grimacing distastefully, closing his eyes, shaking his head violently, then turning aside, pushes the chessman away from him as if they were poisoned, ala Rudolph Spielmann (1883-1942). “The master of attack,” he was also known as “the Last Knight of the King’s Gambit.” His daredevil play was full of sacrifices, brilliancies, and beautiful ideas. This was exemplified, for example, in the Carlsbad tournament, 1923, when he did not have a single draw.

8.) Your opponent grabs you and throws you out the window, ala Joseph Henry Blackburne (1841-1924) nicknamed “Black Death”, who dominated the British chess world during the latter part of the 19th century. At one point, he was No. 2 in the world with a string of tournament victories behind him.

9.) Your opponent suddenly stands up and, grabbing the wooden chess board, breaks it over your head, ala William the Conqueror (1027-1087) who defeated England in the battle of Hastings in what is known as the Norman Conquest.

10.) Your opponent begins to describe you as the greatest patzer in chess history and then denounces the tournament committee for inviting people whose chess is so wretched that it sickens a real master, ala David Janowski (1868-1927), a leading Polish chess master. Capablanca annotated some Janowski games with great admiration, and said, “when in form [he] is one of the most feared opponents.”

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