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     Volume 4 Issue 11 | September 2 , 2004 |

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Time Out

Quiet communication Chess

Chess players are supposed to behave nicely with their opponents. You cannot even talk to the man across the board, let alone make any noise that might spoil his concentration. If you want to offer a draw , there is a prescribed method-- you make your move and offer it before pressing the button of your clock. If it is accepted, the opponent will stop the clock. The communication is of a very quiet nature!

It is unsporting to even look at your opponent directly. Most of the players follow the rules strictly , though there are a devious few who try to gain some undue advantage by annoying their opponents . The problem with chess is that once you feel disturbed or upset, you will almost invariably make some bad moves.

You have to be decent in every respect. You cannot press the clock button with a big bang, though it is a common sight that players somehow try to reach the clock during an acute time scramble. And when you lose a game, you should shake hands with the winner and try to smile( if you can!) As the winner of a game you must refrain from saying or doing anything that the loser may not like. For example, never turn down the request for a quick post-mortem. It will help improve your analytical ability.

Chess rules do not any longer allow you to behave as you like. But matters were quite different , say, 100 years ago. Though not many incidents of players behaving in an unacceptable manner are known , but a few can be cited to prove that weird guys were there to smear the game. World champion Wilhem Steinitz was on the receiving end of such an unclear manoeuvring (!) at the great Hastings tournament in 1895. Steinitz was about to deal the final blow when his opponent, Von Bardeleben, sensing immediate defeat , left the tournament hall. It was a timely exit, but a highly unsporting one.


White- Wilhem Steinitz
Black- Curt Von Bardeleben [C54]
Hastings , 1895

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3!? d5? 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.00 Be6 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Bxd5! Bxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Re1 f6 15.Qe2 Qd7 16.Rac1?! c6? 17.d5!! cxd5 18.Nd4 Kf7 19.Ne6 Rhc8 20.Qg4! g6 21.Ng5+ Ke8 22.Rxe7+ Kf8 23.Rf7+!Kg8! 24.Rg7+! Kh8! 25.Rxh7+! 1-0

Position after 17.d5!!




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