What is the most SURPRISING incident happen with you while playing OTB tourney?


Back 39 years ago i realized that my over the board USCF chess was not near as good as my correspondence chess and even though I could have been a master [per my last performance streak of one loss and 2 draws and 13 wins vs opposition which included one gm and a couple of high masters and a couple of ordinary masters]

I just did not covet the USCF master title as I was going for higher things. Winning a national title where the preliminary rounds consisted of experts and masters and you had to place first in the prelim to even make the finals and then to win the finals is [to me] a lot higher than a uscf master.

but in any event -now I am not the player I once was, I have brain damage to specific areas of my brain and this includes spatial and I have other severe health problems and would not even be able to get to a chess tournament. I do not mind at all not getting a free membership and do not mind not ever getting the uscf master title there is no room in life to really hold on to a grudge . sure I was mad at that tournament director for a few days but then I got over it. 



Of course I did not realize 39 years ago about chess.com and whatever their rules are.


In the early 70s I played in the English lighting chess championship played over a week end with the team event on Friday and Saturday and the individual event on Sunday. When we arrived we met a friend of one of my teammates who was a quiet, very scruffy, beatnik style guy sleeping in a van.  During the team event this guy played Jana Hartston and had to warn her twice about moving after the buzzer (in lightning chess a buzzer sounds each 10 secs and each player must move at once so as not to eat into the opponent's time). Anyway she kept being slow and eventually this guy claimed and was awarded the game as a result.

So now it is Sunday and I am playing, with no distinction, in the individual. I passed scruffy and asked how he had done, "Oh, I won." Next round, same thing. And again. So now he is playing up near the top. And keeps winning. Comes the second last round and he is playing Bill Hartston one of England's top players at the time and (then) husband of Jana.  By now I (and quite a lot of others) was much more interested in the exploits of scruffy than in my own game and as soon as I finish I hurry over to join the crowd watching scruf -v- Bill Hartston.  The position is sterile and soon enough scruffy is offering a draw. Which offer Hartston, looking very smart in suit, collar and tie, treats with a measure of contempt. This is his chance to avenge his wife and besides, this unknown scruffy patzer will soon enough blunder.  But he didn't and after a tough fight it was Hartston who cracked.

So now it is the last round and scruffy needs a win to take first prize, his opponent will at least share first with a draw. Now there was a great deal of rivalry at the top of English chess at this time, a financier Slater was pumping money in and Hartston and Keene had been in hot competition (until pipped by Tony Miles) to win a prize for the first english person to become a GM. So scruffy's opponent is quite tickled at the idea of scruffy finishing ahead of Hartstone in this event.  He played for a while, achieved what looked to me like a clear advantage but then offered a draw which scruffy was very pleased to take finishing second in the event as a result.

Jana left Bill Hartston some time after this altho', of course, her smartly dressed husband's failure to crush the untidy patzer who would not tolerate her rule infringements can have had nothing at all to do with that!


Weelll. As the lad was crying.

I ... think ... she ... did right.

Yes, she did right.

A nice girl. She's going to make some other lad (or this one, who knows) very happy one day.


This wasnt during a game, but rather the first round of each tourney-

In the pacific coast open from 2010-2012, on the first round of each of them, i received a full point bye every time. 3 YEARS IN A ROW?!?!?!?!?!


In one game I played against a weak opponent, he moved a pinned piece. Instead of  showing him that the move was illegal, I captured his king. Then we reset the pieces and replayed from before his illegal move. This happened thrice in two games.


One tournament I played in was a national middle school competition and there were about 500-600 kids playing our 1st round in a giant room. About 45 minutes into the game (time incrament was 2-hours each) the microphone on the podium short circuts and sends an explosion of noise that echoes around the room. What seemed like every other person in the room screamed out and jumped up with a start which caused many games to be knocked about and an entire table almost flipped over. Luckily for me, I had been in a deep think so I wasn't startled like many of the other people and I got to enjoy watching the ensuing chaos. 

UltraLaser wrote:

One very funny moment in an otb tournament was at a junior tourn, with ages ranging from 6-12. I remember the room was completely silent while people were playing, then suddenly someone shouted "HAHAHAHAHA CHECKMATE I WIN!!!!" breaking the dead silence, then the next thing, his opponent shouted back "WHAT NO IT ISN'T I AM WINNING!!!". Everybody in the room then burst out laughing, and when an arbiter went over to their board, they both started crying because everyone was looking towards them and laughing. It turned out that they were both 8-year-olds and that it was checkmate :) I don't think the room became silent again until after the round had finished!

Chess Palace this year?! I was there!!


Well, when i was playing recently, this dog came running through the venue. Then it proceeded to run into multiple boards and knock all the pieces onto the ground. :/ Wasn't a good day :(


The dogs owner was probably losing :)

Shadowknight911 wrote:

well that could easily happen if you played up a section or two sections all the time.

Here is this rating and section for each:


   12 | SPENCER TOY                    |3.5  |B    |L   6|D   7|L  24|W  23|W  20|
   CA | 14256286 / R: 1565   ->1576    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |


 3 | SPENCER TOY                    |4.5  |B   0|W  13|D  10|W   7|L   1|W   8|
   CA | 14256286 / R: 1381   ->1485    |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |


 4 | SPENCER TOY                    |4.5  |B   0|W  36|D  16|W  23|D   3|D  10|
   CA | 14256286 / R:  902P22->1186    |N:4  |     |     |     |     |     |     |


the first one is the one where i played up. i had the 902 rating, and never lost.


why did you all delete your comments? Frown


I was directing a quick chess tournament where one side of the venue was all windows. A black bear ambled right beside the building and almost all of the top rated players jumped to the window to watch. A couple of (high rated) idiots even went outside to follow the bear. It turns out it was a mother bear, and those people were lucky they didn't cut her off from the two cubs that came up to join her from the other side of the building.

Several players were upset to find they had lost on time!


Don't know if this has already been posted on here somewhere.  Didn't happen at a tourney, but maybe the op will make an exception since its a funny story and cute little film:


Here's a little tale with the moral being... know when to keep my mouth shut.

About 16 years ago our small local club hosted a weekend tournament.  Only 20 or so in attendance and all were familiar with one another.  The TD was a friend of mine.  The other key characters I will call Frog and Toad for the sake of anonymity.

Going into the last round, Frog & Toad see they are paired together.  Being close friends they say in the presence of myself & others that they will quickly agree to a draw and proceed to the nearest exotic dancing girl bar. (I'm paraphrasing for PG purposes here).

Well, pre-arranged draws are one thing but this was pretty blatant.  So, I told my TD friend.  He then confronted Frog about it and to say the least; harsh words led to the TD chasing Frog into the parking lot.  We onlookers thought for a moment they might come to blows.  Frog & Toad both got a foreit which was backed up by the USCF despite their(mostly Frog's)  protest.

Flash forward a few months.  Now Frog is hosting a tourney and denies my TD friend entry based on the rule that the TD has the right to deny entry to anyone he chooses.

Talk about "bad blood"!  To this day these guys still hold a grudge.

And all because I opened my well intentioned big mouth.  I wish I could take it back now because it caused more trouble than it was worth.

Opinions?   What would you have done?


@anpu3: I think you and the TD did well.

Vishal_Gupta wrote:

When I went to play my first tournament when I was 12yrs old. In my first game my opponent made a illegal move that exposed his king to check, I did not realise that and the game continued for 4 more moves till I realised it and we took all our 4 moves back and the guy agreed to it.

Man, how often would you get a break like that. It's a very nice thing to do for a 12 year old. Did you win the game?


Thanks for your agreement.  I wanted to do the right thing but as I said the fallout still lingers.


Last season in a league match i forked a guys queen and king with my night, he immediatly said i didnt see that can i take it back?? funny as it gets for me sorry


Yeah, I would have let that go too... so what... I have played a game at my club where we played two moves and offered/agreed to a draw on the last round, because we were both wanting to play blitz instead of a longer game.