How Expert Is Your Chessfriend?

Have you lot come upwardly across the phrase 'chess friend'? Sometimes squidged together as 1 discussion to run 'chessfriend'? It is unremarkably seen inwards the opening draw of piece of occupation of an e-mail from a desperate chess companionship official or organiser who is trying to screw about money out of you lot or larn you lot interested inwards playing inwards his grotty footling tournament inwards about sullen hall somewhere (why is it that chess tournament venues then oft remind me of Wilfred Owen's poesy form Strange Meeting?). Or about as desperate magazine editor hoping you'll purchase his wares. Yes, I admit, I've used the term myself.

The inquiry is: does the coined discussion 'chessfriend' outcry true? Can chessplayers ever actually last friends amongst each other? OK - I realise I am laying it on a fleck thick amongst the cynicism hither - yes, of course of educational activity they can. I conduct maintain many chess friends... I think. But produce you lot ever actually forgive your best chess mates for those heart-breaking defeats they inflicted on you lot decades ago? Or, indeed, are the words of congratulation you lot offering them when they hit about huge chess success together with you lot complete on 3/9 actually sincere? Be honest: somewhere deep down, underneath the grafted-on civility together with rictus smiling of the sporting loser, are you lot absolutely certain at that topographic point are no vestiges of the appalling brat who used to hurl pieces and/or abuse across the room when he lost? Of course, the vast bulk of us grow out of such behavior when nosotros start playing inwards world but I am then glad they didn't conduct maintain camcorders together with YouTube when I was a kid.


However, adulthood brings subtler, wittier ways to larn your ain dorsum on your 'chessfriends'. Here's how revenge was exacted on me. I was at the prize-giving for the 1982 Berks together with Bucks Congress (for those unfamiliar amongst English linguistic communication geography, that's the counties of Berkshire together with Buckinghamshire - nosotros provincials ever abbreviate the advert of our native county). I was feeling pretty pleased amongst myself (the describing word 'smug' would non last inappropriate), having finished a unopen tertiary behind a twain of IMs inwards the chief event. I was getting create to footstep upwardly to have my banking enterprise jibe (a princely £50) from the invitee of honour - who, coincidentally, was 1 of the 2 IMs who finished ahead of me, namely William Hartston.

Naturally I wanted this massive sporting achievement to last recorded for posterity together with had brought my camera. When my fourth dimension came to sew onto the phase to have the banking enterprise jibe together with acknowledge the rapturous applause of the audience, I handed the photographic boob tube camera to my best chessfriend to accept my picture. Poor chap, he had finished nowhere inwards the tournament, but he seemed to a greater extent than than happy to attention out amongst the photography together with doubtless added about form words of congratulation on my success, beingness the expert together with truthful chessfriend that he is. By the same token, I've no uncertainty I passed on my sincerest, heartfelt commiserations to him, wishing him 'better luck adjacent time, one-time man'.


Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 calendar week or then after I collected the photos from Boots. At outset sight they seemed perfectly fine. It was alone after when I showed them to the same chessfriend - together with he collapsed laughing - that I realise I'd had the Mickey Adams good together with real taken out of me. Ten out of 10 to him for his ingenuity together with mightiness to frame a photo. In the immortal words of Michael Bates as Ranji Ram inwards the one-time British sitcom It Ain't Half Hot, Mum, "it is serving me correct for beingness clever dickie."

Here's the photograph (only native speakers of British English, together with perhaps Aussies together with Kiwis, are probable to larn the joke)...

John Saunders (left) receiving a prize from William Hartston at the 1982 Berks together with Bucks Chess Congress. But the photograph doesn't actually require a minute caption, does it?

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