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Chess gamesmanship - a confession

Chess gamesmanship - a confession

Jun 8, 2007, 12:06 PM 12

I have something to confess.  I wish to seek forgiveness from the Goddess of chess, Caissa (pictured!)  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 is 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 below.

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 opponent's 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 she and Caissa will forgive me!

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