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Author Topic: Annoying behavior while playing  (Read 8200 times)
Capablanca
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« on: January 14, 2010, 12:55:29 PM »

Do you guys have any gripes about behavior while playing, especially in a tournament type of setting? I recall a player coughing incessantly when it was my move during one last round game years ago. He would also make a screwing motion with the pieces when he moved (kind of screwing the piece into the square). I'm usually not distracted easily during games, but this behavior was annoying and he knew it. Any counters to this type of behavior?
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dpresicci
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 11:51:01 PM »

I had an opponent that would never resign, no matter how far behind in material he was.  What made it even more annoying is that I would lose patience with him, make some bad moves and he would escape with a draw or even win the game.  I was playing against him for the fifth time and I was up a solid piece and I had over an hour more on my clock than he did.  After he made his move, I wanted to destroy him.  I wanted to push him off the board.  I wanted to use one piece to destroy his pawn protection on his king, then mate him with my remaining pieces.  The trouble was that my attacks against him never worked in the past.

Then, I realized that he was a piece down and my pieces surrounded his king.  It was a lot easier for me to look at this position than he could.  I decided to spend fifteen minutes before moving even if I knew what I was going to play.  I waited those fifteen minutes before playing my next move.

He made his move quickly.  I spent another ten minutes.  I didn't have to make another move.  He resigned.

His behavoir was annoying to me but it was in no way unsportsmanlike.  He did have a right to play on and he saved a lot of half points and full points by not resigning.
I can't fault him.  I will also say that in subsequent games, he had a new respect for me and resigned when he was beaten.
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Danny D.
Capablanca
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 02:11:46 PM »



Then, I realized that he was a piece down and my pieces surrounded his king.  It was a lot easier for me to look at this position than he could.  I decided to spend fifteen minutes before moving even if I knew what I was going to play.  I waited those fifteen minutes before playing my next move.

He made his move quickly.  I spent another ten minutes.  I didn't have to make another move.  He resigned.


Great solution! Now, he had a tough skin. I wish I could develop such fortitude to keep playing in lost positions. Usually I get so mad at myself that I end up resigning in disgust at my own play.
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Pillsbury
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 07:28:08 AM »

Absolutely!  The most difficult thing I have had to learn is to get over the frustration of a bad move, get composed enough to re-evaluate, and regain the will to fight--and to do so quickly, since time is finite.  Defending can be fun, but defending at a disadvantage can seem like torture, especially if one feels he is at a disadvantage because of his own poor play.  I don't mind being outplayed, but I do mind defeating myself.

Anyway, I have no wisdom to offer about opponents with annoying habits.  I had an opponent many years ago who would lean forward over the board to make his move, and then stay that way--the verb "loom" comes to mind--so that he actually cast a shadow over at least half of the board.  I don't think his behavior was meant to affect me.  It was just a habit he had developed.  But it did bug me.
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HNP (Dillberger)
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2010, 04:28:22 PM »


I really do think most annoying behavior - like that cited by John(Pillsbury)- is done unconsciously by players. If you just observe chess players in the heat of competition you'll often notice some tic or idiosyncrasy displayed by a player. Most of the time  it's just the result of pressure during the game. I know when I first started out, I used to make this chucking sound from down in my throat. It was just a nervous tic, but some of my opponent's must have thought I had Tourette's. I knew another player who would start bouncing his leg up and down and patting his thigh at the same time, another constantly sniffed, and yet another that I found looking at me every time I looked up from the board (that was actually kind of creepy). C'est la vie, chess players will be chess players.
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dpresicci
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 08:05:38 PM »

I have been accused of annoying behavoir while playing.  I have a habit of writing down my moves before making them over the board.  This is the way I have been doing it for almost forty years.  I don't know why this should annoy my opponents or why it is anyone else's business but I was surprised that one of my opponents complained to the tournament director about it.  Even more surprising was that the tournament director upheld his complaint and gave me a warning.

This happened in 2006 and there was a provision in the Official Rules of Chess that specifically stated that writing down the moves before making them over the board was acceptable.  I didn't know about it at the time and I tried to write down the moves after making the move at the board.  I won the game but my concentration was lost as I not only had to think about my move, I had to think about moving before writing it on the scoresheet.

This rule is totally arbitrary.  The reasoning is that it is forbidden to refer to notes while playing chess and by writing down the move, you are referring to seeing the move written on your scoresheet as a note.  (I've heard that writing commentary or even putting a question mark or an exclamation point after a move is forbidden under the rules.)  While I agree that the players shouldn't resort to books or outside notes, this is not what the kind of behavoir that a TD should enforce.

I call this the "Sore Loser" rule because I've never had anyone call me on it unless their position over the board was resignable.   Currently, the newest edition of the ORC says that you have to write down the move after making it at the board.  One of the r
easons for the change is "to make the rule conform to FIDE."  I am not so sure that we should even worry about conforming to FIDE, an organization that awarded Karpov the title of World Champion in 1975, consistently ruled against Korchnoi in 1978, annulled the Kasparov-Karpov match in 1984-5, and played politics at every turn.
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Danny D.
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 04:58:20 PM »

I have been accused of annoying behavoir while playing.  I have a habit of writing down my moves before making them over the board.  This is the way I have been doing it for almost forty years.  I don't know why this should annoy my opponents or why it is anyone else's business but I was surprised that one of my opponents complained to the tournament director about it.  Even more surprising was that the tournament director upheld his complaint and gave me a warning.

This happened in 2006 and there was a provision in the Official Rules of Chess that specifically stated that writing down the moves before making them over the board was acceptable.  I didn't know about it at the time and I tried to write down the moves after making the move at the board.  I won the game but my concentration was lost as I not only had to think about my move, I had to think about moving before writing it on the scoresheet.

This rule is totally arbitrary.  The reasoning is that it is forbidden to refer to notes while playing chess and by writing down the move, you are referring to seeing the move written on your scoresheet as a note.  (I've heard that writing commentary or even putting a question mark or an exclamation point after a move is forbidden under the rules.)  While I agree that the players shouldn't resort to books or outside notes, this is not what the kind of behavoir that a TD should enforce.

I call this the "Sore Loser" rule because I've never had anyone call me on it unless their position over the board was resignable.   Currently, the newest edition of the ORC says that you have to write down the move after making it at the board.  One of the reasons for the change is "to make the rule conform to FIDE."  I am not so sure that we should even worry about conforming to FIDE, an organization that awarded Karpov the title of World Champion in 1975, consistently ruled against Korchnoi in 1978, annulled the Kasparov-Karpov match in 1984-5, and played politics at every turn.

I agree with you. The rule is pretty stupid. The rule was conceived most likely after electronic gadgets for score-keeping came into the market. I'm thinking MonRoi. I think that with those players were able to input their move and see graphically the resulting position after that move. By applying the rule to all players, including those keeping score on paper, they just created this idiocy. The problem is that every TD must uphold the rules as spelled out in the USCF rulebook. Failing to do so can result in a TD losing his/her certification. TDs are advised by that rulebook to give a warning the first time, as it happened to you. I think most TDs think that rule is just crap and shouldn't be imposed on players that aren't using electronic devices. Actually, I would just rule out the use of any electronic device for score-keeping, but I guess MonRoi has too much clout over official chess organizations.

Your opponent was simply an idiot to invoke the rule and call the TD. Now that we'e talking about idiots summoning TDs unnecessarily, I remember a tournament game.

I was a clear piece up right out of the early middlegame. The guy just kept playing while I kept up the pressure. Lots of pawns were on the board and at least two minor pieces plus queens on each side, plus we were playing with my Chronos and a 5 second delay. My opponent was on time pressure with only two minutes on his clock in a SD time control and he suddenly told me: "Stop the clock". I looked at him bewildered while he raised his hand to summon the TD. Since it was he who decided to summon the TD, it was obviously he who should stop the clock by the rules. I just ignored his command, made my move, and hit the clock. The TD came over and this guy claimed a draw by insufficient losing chances, which can't be called with a 5 sec delay. Seeing that I had ignored his command, now he was in the funny and pathetic situation of discussing his claim and making moves. I covered my ears to muffle his chat with the TD, and after the TD dismissed his claim and an extremely pathetic position on the board with a few seconds left, he resigned. That's the worst case I've faced of a sore looser.

It later dawned on me that he may have not known how to stop the Chronos. Had he asked me to stop the clock because he didn't know how, I would have done that for him. That's why I always explain to my opponent before the round starts how to stop the Chronos if he needs to when I play in a tournament. I also ask my opponent to explain to me how to stop his clock if we're using his equipment.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 05:31:54 PM by Capablanca » Logged
Capablanca
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 06:05:59 PM »

I had an opponent many years ago who would lean forward over the board to make his move, and then stay that way--the verb "loom" comes to mind--so that he actually cast a shadow over at least half of the board.  I don't think his behavior was meant to affect me.  It was just a habit he had developed.  But it did bug me.

Funny you mention that because I caught myself doing that at times when playing Mike last Tuesday. Fischer was known to do that also. I think it's part of a primal feeling of the attack that may be ingrained. In that game I noticed that I don't "loom" over the board constantly, but only at times. I also noticed at one point late in the game that I was bouncing my leg up and down. I guess it's all part of body language and that it gives away how we feel about the position. I don't make noises or say anything that I think would give away my feelings when playing, but I obviously give away some of my feelings about the position with body language. I always pay attention to my opponent's behavior and body language, and try to use that against him/her. I once played a teenage girl who was in a tough position and she flushed. She couldn't help it, but I knew she was very uncomfortable. There are things you simply can't hide.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 06:08:20 PM by Capablanca » Logged
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