Superstitions in chess

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MJMcCready
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Re: Superstitions in chess

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:58 am

How true it is because it was well before my time I can't be sure, but at my club we had a player who would come to the board with a protractor and angle the knights to the degree corresponding to the year he was born, which I believe was 59. The fact that it was mentioned a few times by more than one person leads me to believe there's some truth to it. I've often thought myself those who start with knights facing backwards are not the most optimistic opponents.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Superstitions in chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:55 pm

MJM >Have you ever met or seen someone play chess and bridge simultaneously<

NO.
I have played chess and poker simultaneously,the chess blindfold against a 2200 player. The poker was for high stakes. The poker players asked us to stop. They found it off-putting, perhaps even intimidating. Perhaps they didn't realise how easy it is to play one game of chess blindfold. Of course, we stopped the chess when either of us was involved in a pot.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Superstitions in chess

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:07 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:36 pm
Alistair Campbell wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:57 pm
I know Geoff Chandler claims that it is rare that he beats a fit and healthy opponent
Fairly sure Henry Bird said the same
...and I got it from Tartakower (who possibly got it from Henry Bird).

Will try and keep the pen if I won, always walked same round about route too the Edinburgh club. (now I get the bus).

Wrote 'ZOOM' or ZOOOM' when castling. Never managed to castle giving mate then I would have written 'BOOM!'.
(think Big Alex warned me about this once...recall someone saying I should not do this.)

Once, years ago, wife said to me as I was leaving: "Hope you win.!" and I did, brilliantly, so this became a ritual.
(if we remembered and she was not annoyed at me...then it became "I hope ******* lose.")

And then this happened:

G.Chandler - R.Birkett, Edinburgh Congress 2003 (White to play)



Just then Mrs C. who had locked herself out and came into the playing hall looking for me.

I gave her my keys, she smiled and said 'Hope you win'. She also asked why everyone everyone was staring at her.
Someone had said there is Geoff's wife and because I raised her to almost legendary status in the Scottish Chess Magazine
and 'Chandler Cornered' with my anti-wife jokes everyone was looking at her thinking I was going to get am ear bashing.

I returned to the board, and quickly played 9.axb5 axb5 10.Rxa8?? (OOPS! for a cheapo merchant like me missing this was awful.)

I lost this game and even when me and Richard where going over it in the analysis room, we still missed it.
(thus scuppering any excuse that my wife interrupting me put me off. Really dreadful from me. I just missed it. )

A year later when Richard was putting his games into a database with Fritz ticking over in the background it spotted it.
Bad enough missing it OTB but a poxy machine spotting it instantly really rubs in the salt.

(now the superstition is the wife always checks to make sure she has her keys. :) )

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MJMcCready
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Re: Superstitions in chess

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:24 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:55 pm
MJM >Have you ever met or seen someone play chess and bridge simultaneously<

NO.
I have played chess and poker simultaneously,the chess blindfold against a 2200 player. The poker was for high stakes. The poker players asked us to stop. They found it off-putting, perhaps even intimidating. Perhaps they didn't realise how easy it is to play one game of chess blindfold. Of course, we stopped the chess when either of us was involved in a pot.
I suspect that's gamesmanship. Banter or chat is a commonly used weapon in Poker but if you are engaged in dialogue with another poker player at the board and they can't contribute, many would feel hard done by and want to engage in conversation which is more of a distraction.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Superstitions in chess

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:32 am

I've learnt not from experience but rather mischievous imaginings that on a cold WInter's day where a county match is played in some draughty church hall, what will bring bad luck to the opposition gathered in the tea room is an exploding tea urn. Again I can't speak from experience but playing county matches whilst badly scalded and your appetite for cheap biscuits vanquished, must surely bring misfortune over the board. Ok, admittedly at QPR football ground in the 80's I saw first hand what an exploding tea urn can do. So I assume that if it can put football hooligans out of action, make them scream and come running out in a tiz, your average unsuspecting chess player isn't going to take it on the chin and play on as if nothing happened...

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