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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    28 Jul '15 00:33
    Inspired by vandervelde's Andorran adventure, I thought I would start a thread where people can post their bizarre and/or humorous tournament experiences.

    When I was a younger chess player in the early 90's (young = mid twenties), I was playing in a tournament in Virginia Beach VA called the David Zofchak Memorial. Back then scholastic chess had not really taken off yet, and the tournament was all men, and I was one of the younger ones in the room.

    There were about 40-50 players total at the Ramada Inn, all in one conference room, and it was deathly silent.

    Suddenly, out of the blue, one of my friends, Floyd Manzo (he was in his late 40's then), suddenly yells out "Oh F*** me!

    Everyone simultaneously lifted their heads, stared for a second, and then burst out laughing! Poor Floyd had hung his queen.

    Reading vandervelde's account reminded me that the current chaos that seems to envelop modern amateur tournaments is a relatively new phenomenon, and that things were indeed different once upon a time.
  2. 28 Jul '15 05:44 / 1 edit
    Paul and Everyone else but me,
    Have you ever heard of a fight breaking out during a tournament, at least, between 2 opponents? I could be wrong, but I may have heard that from another person in the local chess group that I have been in. I will have to check with Eugene to see if that is accurate.
  3. 28 Jul '15 05:48
    As for the name, "Vandervelde," it sounds like a name that could be in the Tour de France.
  4. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    28 Jul '15 06:43 / 1 edit
    Way back in the 70's there was a club player named Boris Hackner who was a coffeehouse player. He and I were paired during a tournament. After about 20 moves I picked up my knight and before I could put the piece down on the board he made his move. I completed my move and moved his piece back and said "Now it's your move". He started yelling that I was cheating. Fortunately the TD was standing behind him and saw the whole thing. I won the game and he kept claiming to everyone that I cheated. A good friend of mine named Henry Horn baited the trap by encouraging Boris and telling him that he should teach me a lesson by playing 5 minute chess for money and beating me. Several weeks later it was arranged (by Henry) for games at a pool hall at $5 a game. After 2 hours I was up $50 and poor Boris was out of cash.
  5. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    28 Jul '15 10:58
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Inspired by vandervelde's Andorran adventure, I thought I would start a thread where people can post their bizarre and/or humorous tournament experiences.

    When I was a younger chess player in the early 90's (young = mid twenties), I was playing in a tournament in Virginia Beach VA called the David Zofchak Memorial. Back then scholastic chess had not ...[text shortened]... rnaments is a relatively new phenomenon, and that things were indeed different once upon a time.
    That's just one more reason I don't play OTB tournaments anymore. I was a regular at the Seattle chess club in the 80's and 90's, and was well known for building up winning positions against my opponents, only to make one bad move that ruined hours of concentrated effort.
  6. 28 Jul '15 18:48 / 2 edits
    When I played corr. chess in former Yugoslavia, I played against a Slovenian guy.
    First he protested because I used cyrillic letters.
    At one point, on the chess card, he wrote "Milan Matulovic" and crossed the name and wrote my name.
    Milan Matulovic was a bad guy of world chess, notorious after not obeyed j'daoube rule and prolonging lost games to eternity.

    The point was that I was lost in the game and my Sloveninan brother was angry that I did not resign.

    (I didn't notice I was lost at all.)

    In Belgrade 1978 there was a final candidate math between Spassky and Korchnoi, and I was there coz I live there.

    Spassky used thinking cabin (rest room) for thinking instead of sitting at the board. Korchnoi protested. Drazen Marovi, editor-in-chief of Chess Messenger wrote later about it, claiming that Spassky was unfair and broke unwritten rules "there is nowhere in rules that you must come dressed at the game or that you must not lift your feet on the table..."

    Korchnoi lost his nerves and showed up on couple of games wearing sombrero.

    ....
  7. 28 Jul '15 22:37
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Korchnoi lost his nerves and showed up on couple of games wearing sombrero.
    A weird match that one. At one point Korchnoi lost four games in a row, but he still won that match!
    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=81035
  8. 30 Jul '15 13:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    IReading vandervelde's account reminded me that the current chaos that seems to envelop modern amateur tournaments is a relatively new phenomenon, and that things were indeed different once upon a time.
    It perhaps comes with years, but I think so too.
    As I (probably vaguely) remember, the hall where people played chess was regarded as a sanctuary. "Hush!" was on everyone's lips.

    There is a famous anecdote, that an older umpire napped in his chair in the middle of a tournament, and when he woke up and saw a game in zeitnot, he stopped the game, took their clock and said: "No zug games under tournament!"

    I saw something similar thing (*but quite reversed) during Belgrade Junior Ch in late 1970's when a famous umpire (*retired national master) shushed people around an ordinary friendly blitz game, coz he thought it was a tournament game.

    ...
    During Serbian semifinal ch in March this year, the composition of players was diverse. Since I played at the bottom tables, I had to meet local retirees, who were simply delighted by the fact they play with clock and that they note their moves. One of them didn't mind losing only if he made "enough amount" of moves.
    The other used hearing aid (which he disconnected during the game /as Petrosian used to do later in his life/ and who liked to comment his game immediatelly after he finished it. He developed a habit to yell since he was deaf and he didn't hear warning since his hearing aid was still disconnected.
  9. Standard member ptobler
    Patzer
    07 Aug '15 06:50 / 3 edits
    I recently played a blitz tournament at my club. In one of the games I played, I had a totally winning position and my opponent moved his king forward 3 or 4 squares (in the one move - i.e. an illegal move). I chuckled only very briefly and softly at the humour in what he was doing, but the guy is a Machiavellian b...... and immediately said "It's only a game - no need to laugh when your opponent resigns" - trying to make me look bad to fellow club members.
  10. Standard member ptobler
    Patzer
    07 Aug '15 06:54 / 1 edit
    Another time, many years ago, another member of my club was in a losing position against an opponent (mate next move), but his opponent was just about to run out of time on his clock, so he "accidentally" (wink, wink) knocked the clock off the table so that his opponent would lose on time before he could retrieve the clock
  11. Standard member ptobler
    Patzer
    07 Aug '15 07:00
    Yet another time, at our street chess in Canberra, the Machiavellian b...... I mentioned earlier was playing an opponent who died during their game
  12. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    09 Aug '15 10:31
    In 1972 a high school buddy and I hitchhiked from California to Atlantic City NJ to take part in the U.S. Open. We were pretty wild-looking teenagers, living out of rucksacks, sleeping rough, washing dishes in hotel restaurants in exchange for one hot meal a day. When we got to Atlantic City, we had no place to sleep. The tournament hall was open to the public, so we looked inside. There were rows and rows of tables with chess boards and clocks, as you'd expect, and white linen table cloths hanging down to the floor. We waited until after dark and crept back into the hall and slept on the floor under the tables, our presence concealed by the table cloths. Sometime during the night, my buddy started snoring, which alerted the night janitor. He discovered my buddy asleep under one of the tables and figured out pretty quickly that he was a stowaway. But instead of throwing us out, he just chatted with my buddy for a while (I slept through the whole thing--my buddy told me about it next day). The janitor let us spend one night there, under the tables, but gave us the address of an old man who had a room to let in his basement, not far away. We spent the rest of the time in tournament hall actually playing chess and had a place to sleep in that man's basement.

    1972 was the year of Fischer-Spassky in Reykjavík, so Fischer was not present at that U.S. Open. The two top seeds in NJ that year were Walter Browne (who won) and Bent Larsen. Larsen would hold a conference in the analysis room of the venue each day after tournament play; he received the latest moves from Reykjavík by fax and explained each Fischer-Spassky game in progress. Browne played blitz backgammon.
  13. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    09 Aug '15 11:14
    Originally posted by moonbus
    In 1972 a high school buddy and I hitchhiked from California to Atlantic City NJ to take part in the U.S. Open. We were pretty wild-looking teenagers, living out of rucksacks, sleeping rough, washing dishes in hotel restaurants in exchange for one hot meal a day. When we got to Atlantic City, we had no place to sleep. The tournament hall was open to the publ ...[text shortened]... avík by fax and explained each Fischer-Spassky game in progress. Browne played blitz backgammon.
    nice story
  14. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    09 Aug '15 16:49
    Originally posted by ketchuplover
    nice story
    Thanks. The upset of the tourney was Ariel Mengarini's defeat of Bent Larsen in round 5. See below.

    It is odd to see Mengarini lock in his own B with c5, then later sac the exchange. But it then becomes apparent that Mengarini is systematically removing blockaders of his passer; it is most instructive. It must have been the game of his life. It sure caused a stir in the tourney hall at the time.

    Mengarini vs Larsen, US Open, 1972

  15. Subscriber ZorroTheFox On Vacation
    RHP MostActivePlayer
    15 Aug '15 21:47
    I like your story! Thank you for sharing!