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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Was it Cheating…

...or good quick thinking?

     A few years ago I posted about this incident in the forum at Chessworld and it created quite a stir.  Some thought it was amusing while others thought it was despicable.  I feel bad about it but please remember every saint was a sinner in his youth.
     It was in the early 1970’s and I entered a small tournament with a time limit of 30/30.  I was rated about 1700 at the time and was the highest rated player there by about 300 points so I was going to cruise to the $50 first prize.
     My first round opponent was rated around 1100 so it was going to be an easy win. I was sitting there staring at my fingernails when a friend walked by, glanced at the position, snickered & walked away. I looked down and realized to my horror my opponent had a mate in one.
     He kept thinking and I was fervently hoping he wouldn’t see the mate. After what seemed like an eternity he reached out and grabbed his Q and played the move that mated me. BUT…he didn’t say anything and I realized HE didn’t realize I was mated. So, I blitzed out a move offering to exchange Queens; he thought a few seconds and made the trade. We continued the game and I won. When he wanted to do a PM I refused and the poor guy never knew what happened.
     Not ethical, but it poses an interesting question. I lost the game theoretically, but as far as tournament rules are concerned if the win was not claimed by my opponent or the tournament director, then legally I don't know if I lost. If you overstep the time limit, it is the responsibility of your opponent to claim the win on time. Likewise, my opponent should have claimed a win by mate, but he did not.
      Fate has a way of evening things out though.  On the way home I stopped and used the prize money to help pay for something I had always wanted…an aquarium.  It cost me about $100. I bought a tank, sand, rocks, plants and, of course, fish and then rushed home and set everything up.
      A few days later for some reason all the fish died, so I had to replace them.  It wasn’t long after that the tank got some kind of algae infestation and all the fish died.  I cleaned the tank out and replaced the fish again.  It wasn’t long after that that another algae infestation killed every last one of them.  After that I gave up.  My $50 prize money was gone several times over. 


  1. Yeah nice story, karma. I would like to know what I did, to make my mother leave my father, when I was under 5 years old, so I lost touch with her and ended up with an abusive stepmother. I did however, track her down when I was 19, but it was a bit late by then.

  2. As a child you have no responsibility for the actions of adults. Also, you cannot change other people, only yourself.

    1. Mm, what is your view on being a parent?

  3. I am not qualified to answer that one; we never had any kids, but it looks like it would be a pretty demanding job!

  4. The interesting thing is, females in the main are born with the nurturing instinct, whereas with males, it is more a learned affair.

    We know this, because it has been observed that females before, they have had babies, exhibit the pupil widening response when they look at babies, whereas most males show no such response.

    I know in my case, when my daughter was born back in 1975, I was sort of proud, but it had no deep effect on me, that was until she was around 3 months old and I remember looking into her eyes and I fell head over heels in love with her and I don't mean that in any wrong headed way.

    When my son was born 5 years later, it was different, just after he was born, our family doctor placed him in my arms and there I sat, tears pouring down my face. After I left the hospital I went to my local and bought the entire pub a drink, I could not have been happier.

    My daughter is now on the wrong side of her 30s and sometimes gets upset, that she has never had children, but she is a deputy headmistress, so in a sense she has lots of children.

    I like what John Lennon said "Life is something that happens between your plans"