Funny Chess Stories

Funny Chess Stories

Dec 16, 2007, 11:59 PM |

1. He was better than that!

The year was 2001 and for the first time there were lots of young players around with ratings way below 1000.  In fact, one player was rated 7 and another rated 9.  At the Eastern High School Open the player rated 9 was playing, and I overheard one player ask the TD (a young Bill Goichberg!), "How many rating points do I lose if I lose to a player rated 9?"

But that isn't the funniest part...

One of my friends, Tim Strauch of Central, who was rated about 1600.  In the first round, he was paired with a player rated 374 (!).  Later, one of my other friends, Lester Shelton, and I were getting on the elevator when in walked Tim.

"How did you do against that 374 player?" Lester asked.

"I drew," said Tim, somewhat dejectedly.

"You drew?!?!  How can you draw with a player rated 374?"

Tim didn't miss a beat: "Oh, his playing strength was closer to 400(!)..."

2. This GM is a little slow...

When I was in college two of our better players liked to play 5-minute chess against each other.  One - let's call him "Dave", would always play slow and deliberately, trying to find the best move.  The other, "Louis", tried to budget his time correctly so that he would not lose on time - even if he had to play somewhat inferior moves.  The result was that Louis usually won on time, often with a somewhat inferior position.

One day after chess club we were going to get pizza David, in usual usual inimitable manner, was saying to Louis, "You know, in that last game we played (which Louis, as usual, won on time), I had great pressure on f7.  I just double Rooks on the 7th rank, and when you guard it with ...Rf8, I just push up my pawn and you can't defend f7 any more and I win!"

Louis, who had heard this a million times before, finally couldn't stand it any more.  He stopped walking toward the pizza place and whirled to face Dave, "BUT DAVE...," he said pointedly, "...ANYONE CAN PLAY LIKE A GRANDMASTER IN SIX MINUTES!!"