I used to write an article called "Strange But True" for a chess magazine years ago. It was a compilation of strange things that happened at chess tournaments. Well, today I'd like to share something with my chess friends that would've been a candidate for that theme.
I was playing in a tournament in Warren, Michigan today when there was some commotion by one of the top experts sitting next to me on board 5. Vestor Wilson is his name. For those of you who don't know Vestor, he's an ex-rated Master and makes his living hustling chess Experts and below for $5 bucks a game.
In fact, Vestor plays so much speed chess that while playing in the tournament he could often be found playing blitz in the next room for a few dollars per game while his tournament clock was running. Needless to say, this did not make Vestor a popular man and after many complaints he was forced to stop playing blitz while his game was in progress.
So we're playing in a Game in 75/min which really means you set the clocks at 70 min and turn on the 5-second time delay. Of course even 75 min for a game is way to much time for a speed addict like Vestor and when I looked over during the commotion I saw that Vestor had 45 min left on his clock while his opponent only had around 20 min. But Vestor, used to his style, was slamming pieces down as if he was on his last minute in sudden death.
Yeah, making instantaneous moves and slamming the piece down is a psychological ploy some players like to use. It often aggravates their opponents to the point that they start moving quickly - something you never want to do against a blitz master.
And so it was that Vestor's opponent became razzled and BAM! BAM! BAM! Vestor promotes a pawn to the queening square - see's there's no extra queen piece available because the queens are still on the board, and slams down a bishop to replace the pawn then smashes the clock.
All this was very annoying, especially for myself, cause I was losing my game to an Expert who misplayed the opening but was beating me anyways.
So then as I'm trying to think through a deep combination Vestor jumps up and screams at his opponent! "You can't do that!"
and he reaches down and moves the guy's rook back to where it was saying, "It's pinned!"
They start arguing... Vestor calls for the TD. His opponent calls for the TD. Everyone looks at the position. Vestor claims that his opponent made an illegal move because his rook is pinned to his king by his 2nd queen. His opponent says, "That's NOT a queen! You promoted it to a Bishop!"
Oh, lordy, lordy... ""That's NOT a bishop stupid! That's a QUEEN! There ARE no queens available so I put a bishop on the square!
So now the question comes up... when he pushed the pawn to the queening square did he say
Now all the games around us have stopped. And people are asking me (cause I was sitting next to him), "Did he say 'queen'?" Vestor admits he didn't say
"queen", but argues that it was the only logical choice.
The TD looks confused... Heck, we're all confused. After a brief moment to regain his composure the TD asks Vestor again, "Did you promote the pawn to a queen?" Vestor says, "Yes". Then he asks, "Did you announce that you were promoting the pawn to a queen?" Vestor said "No, it was obvious".
So the TD ruled that the promoted piece was a bishop! Cost Vestor his win, but ya-know somehow I can't feel sorry for the guy.