Friday, February 28, 2014

Succeeding in Chess By Implementing Underhanded Tactics (1)

Source: Flicker 
updated at 18:18 hrs

Some of us are gamers.  We enjoyed the intellectual intensity of a table game or a field game. We believed in following the rule of playing the game within the letter of the rules and regulations.  If there is a gray spot in its content, we expected the extreme-minded competitor to exploit it to their advantage.  

During our venturing, we have seen many categories of underhanded tactics. 

Following is an abridged set of those tactics that we have seen in various chess matches or have read about: 

The "Sunlight in the Eye" Tactic
Ruy Lopez,  a Spanish priest  was famous for utilizing sunlight to blind his opponent during a game. This tactic is similar to the tactic that Miyamoto Musashi have used to defeat Suzuki in a sword duel

The "Food on Table" Tactic
One associate's favorite tactic was eating a heavy pastrami sandwich and drinking carbonated water during the game. The scent of the pastrami and the burping could moderately disrupt the concentration of the opponent.

The "Tapping on the Table with a Metal Mechanical Pencil" Tactic
Another of favorite tactic of an associate  was the tapping on the game table with a metal mechanical pencil.  . . .  He would start the game by tapping it quite softly and slowly. As the game progressed on, the sound and the rate of tapping increases.  Once the superior position is achieved, the tapping decreases to one soft tap per minute.  It usually disrupts the concentration of the opponent.  (There are other special variations to this tactic.)

The "Humiliating the Winner" Tactic
Whenever losing a game, one would repeatedly yell the following message, "Why did I lose to this lucky moron?" through out the game room.  A certain famous chess player would implement this tactic whenever he loses to a weaker player.  . . .  Some "amateur" tennis players have also employed some variations of this tactic.  . . .  I personally find that tactic to be quite amateurish.  In a strategic game like chess, a focused player who wins, rarely relies on the "chance" factor.  It is better to lose with one's dignity in tact than to win as a classless idiot.

The "Late to The Game or Losing the game by Forfeit" Tactic
The great Robert James Fisher implemented this tactic against Spassky in the second game of the 1972 World Chess Championship.  This move unnerved Spassky so much that he lost the next game.   and did not recover until  the 11th game. ... 

This tactic has also been used in professional labor negotiation.   (We will discussed more on this tactic in a future post.)

Comments From The Compass Desk
Regardless of the quantity of these unique tactics,  some of these tactics are quite crude and uncivil.  

Some desperate people do whatever it takes to win in spite of one's position in the game. They just do not know how to read the greater gameboard.

"According to Fan Li's book, 'If you're last use yin tactics, if you're first then use yang tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy's yang tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy's tactics. When you have exhausted the enemy measures, then expand your yin to the full and seize them.' This then is the subtle mysteriousness of yin and yang according to the strategists."  - Questions and Replies between T'ang T'ai-tsung and Li Wei-kung

One of our preferred set of "counter point" tactical strategies is to wear a pair of shades, a noise filtering head set, a heavy cotton baseball cap,  standing over the game table and drinking warm green tea during the game while pretended that English is not the preferred  language of personal communication.  It works quite well in critical game situations. ... 

From Sunzi's Art of War essay, these underhanded tactics are always organized under the category of "Unorthodox."    . . .  We recommended the reading of Dr. Sawyer's 100 Unorthodox Strategies and 36 Stratagems for unique ideas.  . . .  If you could transpose some of these concepts to the competitive side of chess, please contact us.  We would like to compare notes.  . . .   In our case, some of us have successfully utilized those concepts in the game of Poker and the game of Go (weiqi).   . . . We will discuss more on this topic in a future post.

Side Notes
Chess is a subset of life and life is an grander extension of chess.  The key to succeeding in one's existence is to be a winner in one's life not just on the chessboard.  ...  There is more to life than a game of chess.    ... Comparing go (weiqi) to chess is like comparing theoretical physics to accounting.  Most of us preferred the myriad of quality lessons that could be learned from the former.

"Win if you could.  Lose if you must.  Never get caught in the utilization of underhanded tactics.   ..."  
-  An Anonymous Strategist

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