Friday, 8 June 2007

Chess Gamesmanship - a confession...


I have something to confess. I wish to seek forgiveness from the Goddess of chess, Caissa. My actions as a foolish youth have troubled my conscience for over two decades and I feel that I the time is right to prostrate myself before her and apologize to my unfortunate opponent.

When I was an impressionable young lad I read an excellent chess book called 'Chess for Tigers'. Unfortunately, I choose to interpret one part of the book in an unfortunate way. I no longer have a copy of the book, so I'll paraphrase as best I can - "A chess tiger doesn't care about making pretty moves or even playing the best moves - all he cares about winning".

With this advice fresh in my mind I reached a position in my next game where I hatched an evil plan to trick my opponent. Unfortunately I have lost all the gamescores to my earliest games, so I have simulated the position in the diagram above.

I moved my rook from e1 to c1, waited a few moments and then proceeded to shake my head, "tut" audibly at myself and generally put on quite a show for my opponent.

It was a contemptible trick to play. I was pretending that I had overlooked that I was leaving my pawn on e3 undefended. After a few anxious minutes and more head shaking and moaning from myself, my opponent (an elderly female player, which makes it worse for some strange reason) fell straight into the trap and took my pawn on e3 with her Queen.

At least I had the decency to feel guilty. I even considered not playing my next move, but after a minute or so I went ahead and played Bxh7 check, discovering an attack on my opponents Queen, ensuring victory. I went on to win the game, but the nagging sense of guilt remained. Even my team-mates were ashamed of me. "I won too", one of them gloated, "and I didn't need amateur dramatics to do it!"

So here I am now, many years older and hopefully a little wiser and I would like to publicly apologize to my opponent for what I did. I hope that my opponent and Caissa will forgive me!

9 comments:

chessloser said...

for what it's worth, i forgive you, and applaud your theatrical dramatic trick....it worked! if i ever get into a similar situation, i'll try it...

chessloser said...

oh, and you are a scoundrel!...

Ryan Emmett said...

I know, I know, I'm despicable! :)

Chessbuff said...

Man, people go to jail for something like that! I get up and walk away after I have set a trap, thinking that my nervous waiting and my eye movement might tip my opponent off. I am filled with a grander form of contempt when my opponent doesn't fall for it.

Chess Thinker said...

Very funny! I can't believe you are apologizing for it... I did that a bunch of times when I was younger. I wonder if I cannot do it again even though I am way stronger now that I don't need those tricks!
But you know your conscience better than anybody else, so who am I to tell you not to feel bad?!
Nice blog! "I will be back!"

Anonymous said...

Wow, up a pawn, and with e4 begging to be played, and you played Rec1?!... shameful.
On the other hand, say the knight on g3 wasn't on the board, so you're down a piece. Now playing Rec1 would be a perfectly respectable thing to do ;-)

Ryan Emmett said...

lol! Well, I can't remember the real position, so I made this one up to illustrate my point. So, I guess I should only be a gentleman at the board if I'm winning. :D If I'm losing any trick is fair game. :D

Anonymous said...

Gim'me me more of these tricks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nen Ramos Mcgrath said...

If that was the only crime you committed..man you are a saint! compare to others outside that. It's not cheating, she has her own mind to read the board and not believe the trick of her opponents reaction, she should know that. I do respect her whoever she is, but poker face is not only for poker game cards..it's for everygame.