Do a Karthik: FIDE Invitational Round 2

NM Joseph_Truelson

(Yes, I'm sorry for lack of innovaton in the title, but I ran out of good ones! Please leave some crazy, interesting, savory, inspiring new title in the comments to help me be more interesting! Now, to my small and little grandmasterpiece!)

After Round 6: "Haha! Karthik did a Karthik!", I exclaimed as I captured his king in blitz. (I know that I go back and forth in time a lot!) 

"Dang it", he said in reply. "I'm so angry". And he wasn't mad at me, until I reveal that I taught Vignesh the basic RAR techniques, which he used to beat Karthik in that round. According to what I heard, Vignesh was worse, but won (Normal me, normal RAR).

5 minutes later....

"Oh no! I did a Karthik!" I exclaimed even louder as Karthik took my king. After me crushing him in our blitz matches 7-0, he finally got a victory.

But why were we talking like this? What is "doing a Karthik" anyway? Why, at the SCC September Quads a week from now, did I tell Anshul that he did a Karthik when he left his king in check against me in a blitz game following the 2nd round? (I know, I'm predicting the future now). By the way, I got his permission to foreshadow the future, and next week I will make sure it becomes a reality!

Find that out, and much less, in this blog. All the tension...

On your favorite day of the year, August 27, 2016, I came to the Seattle Chess Club to play in Round 2 of the event. I knew I would play Karthik, and I knew that I didn't know what opening I would be playing. I also knew (not sure now!) that I was a better player than him. When I got there I heard a lot of people saying how I'm unpredictable in the opening, which probably meant that he was asking everybody what opening that I play. I think that they probably gave him a few guesses, but when I came they pretended to have said nothing. The good thing about playing a lot of openings is that it leaves my opponents with a lot of options, all of them bad.

1. Not prepare at all. In that case, we will actually have a real chess game, which it seems to be is the last thing that these kids want these days. Very sad. I guess it's inevitable that everyone wants an advantage from the opening.

2. Prepare a lot: Wasting your time isn't a good idea, but if you want to prepare for me, you have to study all openings, ones that I have played before, and ones that I haven't. Unfortunately for my opponents, I keep making new unsound novelties, so you'll never get to actually prepare that well for me.

3. Study for one opening and hope that I'll play it: That isn't a bad idea, but I won't play that one opening because I know what you are thinking.

But the first option is good... If you're actually an OK chess player! See the first round for an example of that succeeding...

And Karthik managed to do the same thing, but he had a big mistake in the critical moment...


The main purpose of featuring my openings is to prove to everybody how hopeless it will be for anybody to prepare for me. Also, it gives me a chance to learn a little about the opening. The way I study openings is to play an opening I know nothing about, and then after the game I study it, and never play it again. I haven't gone through enough openings yet, but eventually a day will come where I run out of new sound openings, and then I will start to play the same openings again. But for now, especially as White, I have many different openings to play and have not gone through many of them yet.



Now Karthik proceeds to show why he is an 1800, while I proceed to show how chess players sure can be overrated!


This should be the climax of the story, and therefore to keep you on your toes, I will have to talk about something else before finishing the story here. Here, Karthik played the surprsing move 39...Nd3??, leaving his king in check!

This is why I am always making fun of Karthik. Here's a sample position that I decided to make fun of him in:

 This isn't the exact position. I told the guy playing Black that he should "Do a Karthik" and play Kf7?? 

In the event, anytime we hung a king or moved into a check, I would say  "I/you/Karthik did a Karthik!"

The jokes didn't stop in this event, and sorry Karthik, the jokes about doing a Karthik won't stop unless chess tournaments cease to be.

Back to the game, Nd3 hangs his king! So what did I do? I paused the clock (he had 33 seconds left), and told him his king was in check, and I went to the TD to ask what to do about the situation. Not to blame the TD, but he didn't know the rules in this situation. I thought the rules were that he would have to play Ng6, and after that I would gain 2 minutes for the illegal move. Imagine my excitement when the TD said that Karthik would have to lose 2 minutes, and would thus forfiet the game! WOW! I thought! This would be so cool! Meanwhile Karthik was not putting on his best sportsmanship:

Karthik: Can you please let me take back that move?

Me: No! I don't want to lose! Believe or not, I want to win! (To which players either laughed at or said "Shhh" (He was very loud, while I was muttering)

Karthik: This sucks! Chess sucks! 

Me: (Not doing my best to calm him down) Maybe you shouldn't be playing it then.

Karthik: Yeah, you're right. I think that I'm going to take a break (from chess) after this tournament.

As it happenned, Karthik appealed, and I wasn't surprised to learn that the real rules stated that I would gain two minutes. But Karthik knew that Ng6 held nothing for him. So he made the DUMBEST arguement. 
"I already pushed the clock, so touch move doesn't apply anymore".

What? I thought? Are you that crazy about winning the game? Don't you know the rules of chess? I said "Touch move! Duh you have to play Ng6!"

After he tried to beg with me, I replied "Well, it's probably a draw, but if you aren't going to pay attention to the game I might actually win!" Of course we talked to the TD and of course he had to play Ng6. In furry, he played the move and offered me a draw.

Now I had to think a litte bit. Since I had draw odds, I obviously can use my remaining 10 minutes to see if I had a chance. Meanwhile, Karthik shook his head and muttered mean things about himself (He was more mean to himself than me! Poor guy!).

What did I do? Let me talk about a few more touch move incidents before I continue.

In one of my first SCA (School Chess Assocationa, which held many unrated scholastic tournaments) tournaments, I was completely crushing my opponent and wished that he would resign. He was attacking one of my pieces. But at first I didn't notice it (I'm not that good yet!), and I touched my rook and moved it. Then I saw that the piece was attacked. So I moved my rook back to the starting square that it was one, and touched my other piece and moved it to safety. Cheater! That's right! I cheated. So my opponent summonned one of the "floor walkers", people that make sure that the rules are being followed. Well, I was only in 5th grade now, so I had no morals. When the TD asked me if I touched the rook I said that I didn't. And since all the games around us were done he had no evidence of it. So he trusted me. My opponent tried to argue, but eventually backed down. I ended up winning. So I've been taking advantage of both sides of the touch move rule!

At another event, I was playing somebody when I made a move that blundered a piece. My opponent called it and I did the same thing. But luckily my opponent let me do it. The next move he blundered a piece. But of course I let him take that back. We ended up drawing. In the game, after a little bit of thought I decided that it would be a draw. So it finished 40.Ke2 Bh6, 1/2-1/2.

Not too long after the game, someone told us that we both could have been forfieted and withdrawn from the event (if I'd known how bad I'd do I would have been happy with that!) That would have been harsh. 

So what happenned after this game? After more lamenting by Karthik, and me trying to convince the players to have fun, and sometimes even successfully, the next round came. I lost the notation, but that is a good thing, since it was the worst game of the tournament as I lost to Dominic Armstrong. In the opening he made my bishops bad once again:

And I showed the craziest puzzles to some buddies:

Mate in One:

The answer is b8= Black Knight! This was a pretty funny puzzle! Another puzzle was me asking someone, how many moves is it to mate in this position?

My silly solution is that if Re8, that Black can promote to a king, where it would take a while to mate. The quickest way to mate is Rg1, Rxg2, Re2, and then Re8#. So the answer is that it is Mate in 4, not 1.

In the tournament, I also played "8 Kings", in which each side has 8 kings on the back rank. I was pretty good at it, beating Anthony He a number of times and never losing. So I don't want to play it again and break the amazing record.
And how where the King's doing?, you might ask. Well, in Round 3, where they lost 1.5-7.5, they were simply outnumbered. In addition to the already talented 9 youngsters, the He brothers decided to bring even more brothers! I put all of them in one picture: (Hope He approved of this)

Another interesting encounter was Minda Chen vs. Brandon Jiang. In the game Minda surprsingly hung a queen. Aftewords, I told Minda the advice "Don't lose a queen" and "Losing a queen is bad!". Meanwhile I told Brandon that he is good at following my advice "Winning a queen is good!" After all, he did that against me in the Clark Harmon Mermorial ! Then they decided to play some blitz games. And in the games that I watched, both sides were hanging queens nearly every game! So my lesson of "losing a queen is bad" needs to be realized by a lot of people! I guess I have to explain the importance of being a queen up, not just to them, but also myself.

Anyways, what ended up happenning in the next few rounds for me was much more harsh than being forfieted. I was still not last with 0.5/3, as I was facing someone tied for last, Robin Tu, who had 0/3 along with another player. But I made sure that I would be last after my encounter with him. I was tired of all the pressure of not being last and being expected to win, so I eliminated all of that!

As usual, I ended up making many mistakes, but at least there is one mistake that I will never make, and I didn't make.

I will never Do a Karthik.