(November 1966, Volume III, Number 3)


(Editor Martin Morrison)

Some chess players are not angels! Recent events have forced this conclusion upon us in spite of all our idealistic and perhaps naïve wishes to the contrary. Indeed, it almost seems that chess players have been diabolically possessed of late.

For example, many have lately added trickery to their repertoire of winning techniques. This, of course, is nothing new - dating back at least as far as Ben Franklin, but our emboldened imps have been more active and imaginative of late. In one recent tournament, a player stepped out of the tournament room for just a moment. Upon his return, he noticed that considerable time had elapsed on his clock - more time, in fact, than the total time elapsed since play had begun. Naturally concerned, he called the tournament director and complained that his opponent had ïadjustedï his clock unfairly. The tournament director, however, ruled that because the player could not prove that his clock had been properly set at the start of the game, he could not rule against the accused party. Nevertheless, it is almost certain that the clocks were set properly and that the rascal got away with his cheating.

In the very next round of the same tournament, another player took a stroll around the room, as many players do. Shocked he was, upon returning to his game, to discover that his opponent had a mate-in-one set up on the board. Upon inspection, our peripatetic victim discovered his opponent had an extra bishop on the board - one that he was sure had been traded off earlier in the game. This time virtue prevailed when the offended party established by his score sheet that the bishop had indeed been captured.

This deceit is shocking, and no words which we can print in a newspaper are strong enough to condemn anyone who would employ such tactics in what should be a spirited, but friendly and sporting contest. However, there are other (unknown) persons whom we could not properly describe, were we to use every forbidden word in the language. Such a person (or persons) has been very active in one of our local clubs of late. So far he has stolen chess books, two chess clocks, and even money! Why thieves should be interested in such intellectual pursuits as chess is uncertain, but they are.

Such odious activities must cease. Cheaters: cut it out! Thieves: get lost! All innocent persons, we have advice for you as well: beware! Keep a close watch over your possessions. If you lend equipment to another person, instruct him to return it to you as soon as he is finished with it. Often clear invitation is given to thieves by leaving borrowed material on tables unguarded. Keep a score of your games and be on the alert for any other deceitful practices which your opponent my attempt.

Those of you who are guilty had best beware too. You will be found out, and punishment may be severe. Chess may not be sacred, but let's at least keep it respectable.

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