Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Imagine for a moment, dear reader, that you are a cretinous oaf.

Think of the crappiest chess player you know. Imagine that you are crapper than them. Far crapper with big crapping knobs on.

Imagine you sitting down at the board being like Heather Mills entering a "Who's got the most legs?" contest. Imagine a decades-long history of abysmal chess. Imagine that every time you play you take on two opponents - the guy sitting opposite and your own fuckwittery.

Imagine you are, in the rather unsound terminology known only to those who entered their teenage years in the early 1980s, a total Deacon. Imagine, indeed, that there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that you are what Jerry Sadowitz would call (and I'm going to abbreviate this to spare your blushes) a F.S.C.

In short, for one horrifying and psyche shattering moment imagine that you are me.

Surrey Individual 14.07.08
A. Bloke v Idiot Blog Writer

Black to play and lose instantly


ejh said...

1....Nh4!! surely?

Tell you what, I bet this a French Exchange.

I also bet you lasted longer than the 14 moves it took me to lose the last game in Benasque.

ejh said...

Imagine that every time you play you take on two opponents - the guy sitting opposite and your own fuckwittery.

We all do this of course. Chess is a struggle against error and therefore a struggle against oneself.

ejh said...

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 (is Mike Yeo reading this?) 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 Kf8 9.O-O d6 10.Bf4 Nc6 11.Qe3 Bf6 12.Na3 Nge7 13.Rd1 Qe8 14.Nb5 1-0

Jonathan B said...

1. ... Nh4

nope. Keep looking.

btw: yes it was indeed a French Exchange ... and quite an interesting one until I ruined it.

Jonathan B said...

Tell you what, I bet ...

Have you just taken a 'Speak-like-Big-Ron-Atkinson' course???

the move I found was much much worse than yours.

Anonymous said...

ejh why did you resign? Looks dodgy but I can't see a clear win.


Jonathan B said...


White didn't win by playing 2. Qxd5+

Anonymous said...

You left your Q en prise? e4 seems the 'best' square.

ejh said...

ejh why did you resign?

What's Black's next move?

I was, as it happens, utterly and abjectly pissed off. After seven rounds I was on 4.5 and in the eighth round I should have beaten an FM, but revoked my decision to play the (probably) winning move and played a losing one. In the ninth round I then lost to a much lower-rated player.

I then contracted food poisoning for the second time in the week, albeit not remotely as badly as the first time*. A Spanish guy offered me a lift from his mate to the venue for the tenth round - I was in a campsite three kilometres uphill from the venue - but come 8.50 am (the last round starts at nine) he was nowhere to be seen.

I therefore had no option but to rush downhill and hope not to arrive too late. Halfway down, the guy's mate pulls up in his car - but guess what, there's a bicycle in the back so I couldn't get in anyway. So I walked the whole way, arriving, miraculously, just fifteen minutes late. I then have to meet the Evans Gambit against another much lower-rated player, with half the tournament apparently using the space next to my end-of-aisle board as a conversation post.

And so, after 14.Nb5, I really didn't feel like hanging around to see what happened next, save the short period it took to tell the Spanish guy what I thought of his mate.

[* In the early morning before the sixth round, I woke up feeling awful and after several hours' tossing and turning in my tent, got up and vomited. Some hours later I vomited again. My guess is that the previous night's bistec de ternera hadn't been fully defrosted. Anyway, I was absolutely flat-out, almost literally unable to move, let alone leave the tent, feeling dead, until after two in the afternoon.

The round started at four and at three I started to walk down the hill - very slowly - in the heat of a Spanish July afternoon. I got to the venue at 3.58, God knows how, and bought myself a tonic water. I was a few minutes later and frankly had my opponent been at the board I would have had no option to offer him a draw or resign. But he was a quarter of an hour late, which gave me ten minutes to slump in my chair, doing, and thinking, and seeing, absolutely nothing. Which is what I needed to pull myself together - and I went on to win.]

ejh said...

Heh, I've got it! 1...Ne3!!

Because of course the queen can't take it, for some reason that you hallucinated but will never be able to explain!

(Except that I had the same hallucination, looking at the diagram...)

Morgan Daniels said...

I saw Sadowitz live a couple of years ago - an absolutely frightening experience, but probably the best stand up gig I've ever been to.

Anonymous said...

ejh sorry to hear your woes. But just Qd8 then if e5 Nf5.


ejh said...

There's not enough on d6.

Anonymous said...

I just put it in Fritz. There's lots of tactical compilations but Fritz seems to think you're OK.


ejh said...

Then bleedin' Fritz can sit there and play it....

Jonathan B said...

I've seen Jerry Sadowitz live about 4 or 5 times. Always a great show.

Every amateur magician - and indeed the professional ones too - has a Jerry Sadowitz story. I personally know somebody who Sadowitz physically removed from International Magic (the shop where he works) after a minor disagreement went nuclear.

Jonathan B said...

Yes 1. ... Ne3 was the offending move (it certainly offended me)

I was planning
2. Qe2 Nc2
3. Qxe8 Rxe8
4. Rsomewhere Rxe1+

Utterly shameful.

I'm not even sure I could claim that I thought the queen couldn't take it ... just didn't even consider that it could. Well not until a nano-second after I removed my hand from the knight of course.

ejh said...

It's odd, though, that I had the same hallucination.

(I suspect, though, that this is connected with the reason I crack up at the end of competitions - I'm well aware that I play at a higher level than my tactical ability should allow me too, and perhaps there's a limit to how long I can keep that up.)

However, re: the question of my resignation, premature or otherwise, I should make clear that it wasn't based on a full and through examination of the position. I was aware of this and I didn't care. I did not care then and I do not care now. It was based on the fact that I'd just moved the queen from d8 to e8 and if I was going to have to move it straight back then I really didn't feel like wasting any more either of my time or that of the young woman who I was playing.

This is not an attitude which wins world titles, of course, but I didn't care.

And besides, if the week ended really badly, it had started really well and so the end didn't matter very much in the great scheme of things.

Jonathan B said...

It's odd, though, that I had the same hallucination.

yes I suppose so - although it didn't cost you a point and you were looking at it on a computer screen not on a real board.

You're right about me not being able to explain it though. I just don't see how I could have made this mistake. I didn't even rush (not that that should have mattered) - I took about 3 minutes over the move according to my scoresheet.

ejh said...

I wonder if it's to do with the fact that your queen was operating next to a rook, and acting down a file....

Tom Chivers said...

Crafty reckons you're not ok after 15.Nxc7...

Anonymous said...

"is Mike Yeo reading this?"

Yes, he is. And he agrees with Crafty!

Glenn Wilson said...

Elizabeth, Jonathon (ftard). Jonathon, Elizabeth (I hate myself).

Anonymous said...

John Emms hunting for an IM norm in London 1989 but an unfortunate 11th move:

[White "John M Emms"]
[Black "Tarek Fatin"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Be3
cxd4 7. cxd4 e6 8. Nc3 Qa5 9. Bd3 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. b3 Qxc3

ejh said...

Oooh, nasty.

Still, serves him right for 3.c3.