Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Ugly Side Of Chess

Chess is a gentleman's game, yeah right.

Tonight, I witnessed a rather unpleasant incident at the Ryde Eastwood League Lightning Chess tournament. A player claimed loudly that his opponent had made an illegal move order. Very heated and prolonged accusations and arguments subsequently flew from both sides of the board, I might add. The shoutings continued for a good 10 minutes or so and in the end, the player refused to play in the return game and forfeited his game.

Come on..... people, it's a Lightning game, no ratings are affected, heck, there's not even a prize even if you finished first. This reminds me of an ugly incident in one of my games. While playing in the lightning competition, I accidentally knocked over my king and it fell to the floor. When I bent down and hurriedly put the king on the chessboard first, my opponent claimed,"I win! You put your king in the wrong place." And I calmly replied,"No, I was just picking up and adjust my pieces." So I adjusted my king and proceeded to hit the chess timer. Why are these people such sore winners? Do they lack the ability that they have to claim dubious wins over a patzer like me? Sometimes, the pressure of winning overrides their reason. I've got news for people like that. Form is temporary and class is permanent. If you had to resort to something like that to win a game over me in a competition (that has no effect on your ratings nor garner any prizes), your behaviour speaks volumes about yourself as a person.


On the bright side, Steven finished 3rd in the competition and then proceeded to pound me to the ground in all our social 25 min games with me. Ouch!

The last game we played was horribly complicated. I was White (and desperately trying to fend off the attack) when we arrived in this position:

I tried to complicate matters by playing 1. Rd1 (which loses instantly). Turning on Fritz, I should have instead played 1. Qf6+ g6 2. Qf8! (if 1... Kg8 2. Rc1! this was the line I missed. Drats!) (the fear of losing my Rook with Qxb1 threw me into unnecessary fear). Steven subsequently converted this to a win. I am very impressed. I must absolve to calculate much better in the future and not be afraid.

Oh well, live and learn.

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