HOW TO ANNOY YOUR OPPONENT
by Bill Wall
I think it was coach Bill Lombardy who said, "In chess, winning isn't
everything. It is the only thing!" As you know, chessplayers
cannot stand losing a game of chess. Therefore, it is quite necessary
to know how to win easily without just mastering the difficult task
of playing good chess. The art of annoying your opponent is a must
for those who do not have the time nor patience of playing master
The easiest and most common form of annoying your opponent is talking.
There are several methods that can be adopted to disturb your
opponent so as to distract him from making a good move. One method
is to talk directly to your opponent, pointing out his bad moves and
letting him know his position is hopeless. By the time he complains
to the tournament director, his position will be hopeless.
If your opponent is about to make a good move despite your efforts
to talk to him directly, then yell out "touch move" just before he
moves his piece. Of course he will deny ever touching anything.
An argument will result, upsetting your opponent so much that he
will have forgotten his original plan or think the almost touched
piece was a losing move and make a weaker move instead.
Another effective method is to talk to spectators about your opponent
and perhaps start ugly rumors about him ("he has AIDS"). People will
soon be staring at your opponent, will start to snicker and point at
him. This will make your opponent very uncomfortable and will take
his mind off of chess. If that doesn't work, discuss your opponent's
playing ability or talk about his hygiene habits. This will draw
your opponent into the discussion with an argument and he will have
forgotten all about his game.
Another common method is to talk to yourself. Talking to God or
praying out loud are other variations. Mumbling and even laughing
at your opponent's moves and getting friends to laugh, also, will
surely distract him from making strong moves.
Other methods of disturbances are to cough, sneeze, and blow your
nose loudly during the game. Spread lots of germs and let your
opponent know that you may have some awful disease. If he thinks
your disease is contagious, he will leave the board often, unable
to concentrate on the game.
If your opponent is slow in moving, drum and tap your fingers on
the table. Act very impatient. You should heave a sigh, then yawn;
look at the chess clock or your watch often; and finally, groan.
Your opponent will be induced to make hasty moves so as not to
appear a slowpoke.
When you exchange pieces, always put one of your opponent's pawn or
piece on your lap or hidden somewhere else. If your opponent likes
to compare the pieces that have been exchanged, he will think he is
winning and ease up a bit. If you are a piece up, roll the extra
piece in your hands or toss it up in the air a few times. Let your
opponent know he is an exchange down and there is no hope for him.
For the musically inclined, humming is a favorite nuisance.
Aggressive players can go into a full song accompanied by the
gestures of a conductor. Bringing a radio along and occasionally
turning it on during critical times of the game works. If your
opponent is a sports fan, tune in to some important sports event.
When smoking is allowed, it is best to get the foulest, blackest
cigars or pipes. A lot of smoke towards your opponent not only
obscures the position of the board, but causes your opponent to
choke and become blind from the smoke in his eyes.
A method popular among grandmasters for annoying an opponent is
to stare directly and deliberately at your opponent. Let your
opponent know he is being watched and stared at. Of course, if
your opponent starts staring back at you during your move, carry
a pair of sunglasses with you and slip them on. The mirror
reflection type is best just in case your opponent or his guru
is trying to hypnotize you.
When you think you have a good position, rock your chair back and
forth, smile victoriously, and let everyone know you have a won
position. Your opponent will lose that much more quickly even if
he doesn't see any threat.
With the help of a friend, you can plan on taking pictures of the
game. Make sure a bright flash can be produced. Just before your
opponent reaches to make a move, your friend flashes the camera
and blinds your opponent temporarily. He then touches the wrong
piece which he must move as there are not only witnesses but a
picture of it with a second snapshot.
There is just one more kind of annoyance worth mentioning. Of all
the annoyances to an opponent you can make, this is the most
devestating of all. Although it is very infrequent in occurrence
and almost entirely accidental, it is the most annoying and
upsetting disturbance known to chess. It is called making a