CHESS VOICE (Vol. 15 No. 3) October-November 1982 (Editor: Richard E. Fauber)


By I.M.A. Mucker
International D Player

   I have this problem. When I first learned chess, there was no one around to play it with. So I taught my mother the game to have an opponent. Now she beats me all the time. This year a new teacher got interested at high school in chess, and we have a club which sometimes meets late in the evening. Mom is very upset because I won't play with her any more and thinks I spend these late night hours taking dope or vandalizing things. How can I convince her that I'm just into chess and still love her, even if she does beat me? O.R. PA

   Your mother is just going through a phase where she wants to be thought of as a person than as mother and homemaker. She will probably grow out of it if you show understanding and teach her bridge. Meantime you should have all your chess magazines sent to a P.O. Box. What if she read one and decided to play in a weekend tournament? Who would cook for you then? - IM

   In a recent tournament my fifth round opponent brought his wife. Through most of the game sat patiently, like Madame deFarge knitting at an execution. The low-pitched, incessant click-click-click was driving me nuts until someone opened the hall door and the blare of the kibitzers drowned her needles out. As the crises of the game approached, she seemed to sense it out, put down her knitting and crept to her husband's side, where she knelt in rapt attention. Once I glanced away from my pieces to his on the rapidly opening board and was transfixed by the sight of a rook and a knight with two little eyes in between. I suddenly became panicked by the thought of being unaccountable two eyes down in a tense game. I blundered and lost. Isn't there something in the rule book to prohibit this kind of partners chess? I.M. IL

   There is nothing in the rulebook which can make you force a wife to take her eyes off the board. There is, however, no rule which prevents you from taking your chair around to the other side of the table, placing it beside her and regarding the position from that angle. This can have an eerie effect on opponent and wife alike - IM

   For many years there was a master at my club who used to advise me on the openings: "Never play the Queen's Indian; White gets too much influence in the center." "The Sicilian is Black's best chance to go for a win against e4." "The Caro-Kann is too passive." "The Budapest is foreign to the principles of chess." Etc. Recently he moves away, but a new master moved to town. He says: "The Queen's Indian is at the cutting edge of chess theory." "The Sicilian is a defense for rummies." "The Caro-Kann is exceptionally solid." "The Budapest is underrated and has surprise value." Who shall I believe? W.E. AK

   A solution many have found productive is to play 1 f4 as White and 1 ..., f5 as Black - except where White plays 1 e4, when you should offer an immediate draw. Master opinion on the opening varies - often according to which openings they would rather have you play against them. - IM

Return to Index