Chess Memories


Those are some sad stories Ponz. RIP to your friends. 


ty, here is a more upbeat story [slightly upbeat for me anyway]

 When i first arrived in Kankakee there was no chess-not even a club.

 Then a few years later the YMCA had a chess club. I stopped by there one day but they were not very sociable--so i left. But there was young man [about age 19 i talked to]

The club later had a championship and he won with a score of 9 wins and no losses or draws. He was bragging to me about how he beat "those old men" He was getting a little insufferable. Undecided

So, i invited him to have a 10 game match with me. He would come to my home every Sunday afternoon and we would play a game with a clock and under tournament conditions.  I would provide the snacks and drinks and pleasant surroundings...

I won the first 3 games. The 4th game he resisted some but i still finally won. Then i won the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th games. He was getting a little glum.  Should i let him draw the last game??

Nah...!   I won the 10th game also. That was the last i heard from him. If he had contacted me again i would have liked to teach him some things about chess!?


Hey ponz, I think I actually played Bill Harris once!  In the 4th round of the 1979 US Open.

ghost_of_pushwood wrote:

Hey ponz, I think I actually played Bill Harris once!  In the 4th round of the 1979 US Open.

We always called him "William" so i t might not have been the same person?  He would have been about 25 at the time. Where was that US Open held?


oh i see the us open was in Chicago so it must have been him. Were you able to win from him?


Yeah.  My position looked pretty dismal for a while (not the first time that's ever happened to me, I can assure you), but I managed to pull out an endgame win.


Interesting thread.

My chess memory is about the first chess tournament that I went to. I was playing in an under 1100 section with games of 45 minutes. There were 5 rounds in the tournament. I was nervous and lost the first three games although at least the second of the three games was an extremely long game (close to 90 moves). Since there was an uneven number of players, I got a bye in round 4 and I used it to focus and hope to least end the tournament on a positive note.

In the five game, I got paired with the other person who like me had not won a single game and also had one bye at some point. I eventually found a clever set of moves where I forked the king and queen with the use of a deflection tactic and I thought I had one the game. The other player however kept on playing even after I captured the queen.

I got careless and that the game was over and then I allowed my own queen to get trapped. Talk about having to compose myself after giving such a high advantage away.

I was lucky that I had a much deeper understanding of the end game then my opponent and eventually had connected pass pawns that my opponent was powerless to stop as they were both going to be queened as I had piece support plus my king supporting them and only after they realized that with my superior pieces and they were low on time while I had plenty of time did they concede the game and knocked down their king.

Finally! A win. I could at least take something positive from the tournament and not just finish in last place. Little did I know that my first opponent Robert Hess I think become a chess master later in life and here I was playing the Sicilian as Black against him.


Robert Hess got his rating up to over 2600! Once he was number 5 ranked in the United States! 


My first smothered checkmate was delivered at 8:05 Tuesday May 1st 2018.


I played one of my first USCF games in a supermarket warehouse. grin.png It was a club round robin and the guy couldn't show up that Tuesday night so we played one afternoon where he worked (at the local United Market).  It started 1 e4 c5 2 d4 cd 3 Nf3 e5 4 Nxe5...which was the first (and last) time I ever fell into that.  A dozen moves later and I had to resign...

once played a 1600(as a 1200 myself) in a game that lasted over 5 hours and was the last game of the round(and the day). It had been very up-and-down the whole way, and in the middlegame I thought I was better but we transitioned to a KP endgame I realised was probably lost and I just tried to hold. In the end we ended up with KQ vs KQ after promotion when spectators were crowding around and he blundered mate-in-one(everything else draws instantly after I trade queens and I was about to offer but I thought it’s just one more move just play it). I didn’t see it. Luckily I noticed the ten or so spectators were kind of shocked at his move and took some extra time to check I hadn’t missed anything(I was about to trade queens!shock.png) and then I saw the mate(phew!)wink.png
Something like this(I don’t remember the position but this is about right, on anything other than Kc8 I would have traded queens with a draw)

Another time I was playing the tournament of my life(that I finished 4th in my section with 5.5/7, my first ever - and to date only - plus score in anything that wasn’t rapid). In one round, my opponent, who slightly outrated me, sacrificed a piece(or something, I can’t remember anymore, but it would have been a decisive material advantage if he couldn’t mate) to go after my exposed king. We both had about 30 minutes left; after the sac he had barely 10(with 30-second increment). I started to calculate after instantly accepting it and found a line where I could barely hang on. If I had the slightest miscalculation, I was lost. I played it. He played well, I tried to hold on, and he ended up with three minutes to my twenty after several more moves. By this point I realised that any win for me will probably have me flagging first and I was just trying to keep going and hope he blunders. Two minutes... I stared at the board, he seemed deep in thought, and I counted down the seconds mentally every time I glimpsed movement on the digital clock as my opponent calculated. One minute... damn, he moved! I reply within seconds while he’s notating with an obvious only-move, and...

thirty seconds...


ten... he’s still calculating deeply...


and FLAGGED! I was so relieved - I knew if he had moved, I was likely to lose, a draw at best.

Middle school chess team i was absolute worse, my mentality was just to have fun, the pedigree chess champion of our little group of 5 was about to sit down with me to pick the 4 to go to a tournament- i had already accepted that i will lose i asked the teacher if i can just bow out he refused he wanted Pre Pro genius (say his name is Jim) to practice, i shook his hand we sat down, jim leaned over and said “ Your fatass dad picks you up everyday, if you lose this game how about this is the last time you fatasses should stay home” i snapped... the game turned the entire class hovered over our board club or not he brought my father into this and I WASNT gonna let him .... i destroyed a chess prodigy... he looked at the board stunned refusing to shake my hand he never returned. Im fine with losing i will give you a smile. Why bring my father into the game?