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Chess embarrassment

  1. Oct 23, 2012 #1
    There is this person who "claimed" she didn't have much knowledge or skill on playing chess, that was surely a lie once she wiped the floor. I went easy on her just so she could get a feel of how it was played and to test out a new strategy, but nope, she won. I feel she's a liar and I would like to call her out on it but I would end up looking like the bad guy here.

    What to do? Forgetting about it is easy but I tend to keep tallies on how many games I've lost and now had to write that loss on my list.

    It doesn't sound good if you're reading this but if you were me you'd know how I felt. I am not romantically interested in this person but her friends are pretty much women in the same club as I am, and they have more pull than I do so I'd rather not have my name drug through the mud like some of the other members. The club is something people interested in research are implored to join. It has more opportunities for undergraduates and ways to network, so I cannot look like a bad guy.

    Anyway, I asked for another game but she declined. Walk away? I am finding it harder to do that the more I think about it as it is a loss I must count. (Personal loss but anyone who lives by similar rules should understand my plight). I am looking for ways to get her to play me once again, so I'd like some suggestions because I hate seeing her smug face walk around like she over came the odds and was smart enough to beat me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2012 #2
    Re: Chess

    So how good are you with chess? Were her openings rational? I mean did she show knowledge of the opening library? If so her remark about her skill was indeed on a tense foot with reality, that may indicate that she did not want to scare you off, maybe because you were interesting to her in some way.

    Now after the catastrophes, apparantly you are no longer interesting.

    But it's very well posible that she is just very smart and a natural player.

    Just forget the whole thing and move on.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  4. Oct 23, 2012 #3
    Re: Chess

    Some people can appear good at things that they really have a shallow understanding of. My friend is really good at chess, but I could beat him by just being a little sneaky bastard with the queen. Once my queen was gone, then the rest of my pieces started dropping like flies.
  5. Oct 23, 2012 #4
    Re: Chess

    This is not directly related. I'm a rather poor chess player, probably around 1200 USCF strength. I was challenged by a player who claimed he was a master, meaning around 2000 USCF or higher. In the game I saw a situation whereby if I sacrificed a knight, then 4 of my major pieces would have a rather direct avenue towards his king while distracting his pieces away from the defense. I did not have a specific checkmate in sight, but sacrificed the knight on general principles and did manage to checkmate him rather quickly. We didn't play a second game and I don't know if I won because he wasn't as strong as he said, or because I put him off his guard when I told him I was weak.

    This is directly related. Don't tally.
  6. Oct 23, 2012 #5
    Re: Chess

    Using the standard rating formula, I would be at 1634

    Her opening moves were interesting she made moves that were seeming like an obvious castle, but she didn't. I was in the process of castling my king, she then proceeded to trap me (i.e. go on the offense). That rendered my strategy inoperable and my game destroyed. It was also embarrassing, she could not possibly be a beginner at chess and this isn't some natural ability. Too much of a coincidence to call it a natural ability in my honest opinion. And why would she decline a follow-up game? I did the gentlemanly thing and asked a few days later, so she is up to something.

    Catastrophic is too strong of a word to use here, it makes me look as if I am not adequate. I may not be the best but I am certainly no slouch. She deceived me and no player of chess, or at least the ones I come around, play deceptive games. If you must deceive before the game just to win, then you shouldn't be playing it in the first place.

    I guess I should not have assumed she was a total novice, but hopefully I can play her once again in the future if she accepts the offer to play one more round, so I can mitigate the loss that should not be there.
    I have played chess most of my life and my father and I usually play on sunday's, so it is more than some simple, trivial game. Almost like football if I had to compare it to a popular sport. That is the primary reason why I am taking something that seems so trivial so seriously.

    This sounds like my situation. If you tell someone you are a weak player they don't want to damage your confidence towards the game. Also if I were him, I'd believe you weren't really thinking about what you were doing and just moving pieces around. So I would not have been paying attention to the king's future demise and, I guess playing around. However, in my case, I was developing a strategy to at least safe-guard the king and take the center.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  7. Oct 23, 2012 #6
    Re: Chess

    It's just a game... Don't get all upset because of a game...
  8. Oct 23, 2012 #7
    Re: Chess

    Obviously, you don't play chess :smile: :tongue:
  9. Oct 23, 2012 #8
    Re: Chess

    I don't understand that, I would always play what I think would be the best move at that point, regardless of the opposition. If there is a trap somewhere, and sure there are plenty, with 1600+ ELO points you should know all the basic traps.
  10. Oct 23, 2012 #9


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    Re: Chess

    I know nothing about chess, or board games in general. But I know a little bit about life, enough to know some people start the game before they sit down to start playing the game :wink:.
  11. Oct 23, 2012 #10


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    If you carve notches into your chess board to record all your results, then I can understand this might be a big issue. On the other hand, for most people "it's only a game".

    As for the other club members - even if you know you are paranoid, that doesn't prove they are NOT out to get you :smile:
  12. Oct 23, 2012 #11
  13. Oct 23, 2012 #12
    This seems to be a very trivial thing to worry yourself over. You lost, she won't give you a rematch. Can you really not move on from there?

    I am fairly certain that the last thing you want to do is make any sort of fuss over this with her or anyone else. It will make you look petty and a bad sport, which is much worse than looking like someone who lost a game of chess.
  14. Oct 23, 2012 #13


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    She was clever enough to know she could hustle you. It seems you just want to assert your intelligence. I agree with micromass on this.
  15. Oct 23, 2012 #14


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    She's apparently better at social strategy than you are at chess strategy :P
  16. Oct 23, 2012 #15

    Ben Niehoff

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    Wasn't it deceptive of you to play at less than your ability? If you're going to take the game that seriously, then always play to win. Then each loss will be honest.
  17. Oct 23, 2012 #16


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    Has she offered a strip chess? That would add a twist in the tale to the checkmate story.
  18. Oct 23, 2012 #17
    Re: Chess

    This is phrased oddly. Is there another formula you use? What do you mean you "would be" at 1634? I'm confused.
  19. Oct 23, 2012 #18
    All about the rating system:


    My castle was broken through by an offensive attack, so unless you know of any last ditch effort strategies on how to not lose when that occurs I would like to know. I searched online for when that happens now that it has become an issue, but no luck, so I guess I have to spend some extra time trying to figure out how to evade being taken out when that happens.

    I did say, "since you're beginner I will take it easy on you". So I dunno whether a light-hearted comment can be concluded as deception, she knew I liked playing chess.

    But like I was saying above, when facing someone who is new to the game, you don't want to play your absolute best. That wouldn't be fair to the person trying to learn to play. I am more fair and honest than I am a guy that demolishes and starts saying, "you lose!" That would not be right in my opinion.

    While partly true, I also want to be fair. I dunno about anyone else but this isn't just some silly game to most people. But alas, I decided to get one of the heads of the chemistry club to host a chess tournament. Prizes, etc..., will be awarded as well. Hopefully she comes seeing as it is during one of the club meetings over-break, after seeing Argo, and she is going to see that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  20. Oct 23, 2012 #19

    Ben Niehoff

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    You need to make up your mind: 1. What you think "fair" is, and 2. how seriously you take this game. If you are so sore over losing that you feel it necessary to post on PF about it, then you shouldn't be telling people "I'll go light on you." You should checkmate them in four turns, and then graciously explain the trick you just used. They will learn.

    On the other hand, if you think you should go light on beginners, then don't get your panties in a bunch when a beginner beats you.

    In any case, if she's already turned down a rematch, then you've got no right demanding anything else, and you should let go of it. In fact, maybe the reason she turned you down is that she can tell you're upset. Hell, maybe she was insulted that you said you would take it easy on her, and feels it serves you right that you lost.

    In general, take a deep breath, and get over yourself.

    P.S. The attitude of "I'll take it easy on you, but I'll make sure you can't actually win, and I'll get really upset if you do" is really disingenuous. Either play for real or not.
  21. Oct 23, 2012 #20

    Ben Niehoff

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    Furthermore, in all serious games of skill or chance (and it sounds like you take chess quite seriously), it is polite not to make any discussion of one's abilities before the match.

    Nor should you ever talk about the match in detail afterward, especially not to theorize how it may have turned out differently if you had made different choices.

    (Exceptions are made for learning exercises, but these are not serious matches.)
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