Caïssa’s Wisdom: #7 – Bad Manners in Chess

Rules and Etiquette for Chess Amateurs

In today’s lesson Caïssa moves on from recent pearls relating to some of the higher virtues of our great game: mental strength and tenacity (#4); the will to win and to learn the hard lessons of your failure (#5) and the need to cast aside your aesthetic aspirations in order to focus on seeking truth (#6). Our divine sponsor wishes to get her hands dirty (only to wash them carefully before she shakes hands) as she begins to deal with the topic of good manners. Several reprehensibly odious practices are covered in today’s post:

“Now what did I do with that spare queen?” This image is used under Creative Commons licence and sourced from troycochrane’s Flickr photosream

#7a: Bad Manners – Poor Hygiene

Strong minded though most chess players are they can sometimes be weak of body. All that time spent indoors away from the fresh air and wrapped in a blanket of tension and concentration can lead to unpleasant odours and absent minded physical habits that would be considered deeply impolite in “normal” company. A considerate chess amateur should practice a little self discipline and retreat to the restrooms for practical purposes besides the obvious necessity to study one’s smartphone in private!

Breaking wind at the board is generally considered to be bad practice not to say unhygienic. If you do have a weak and irritating bowel then I would suggest that competitive chess is not the pastime for you. If you absolutely must disgorge yourself during play then ensure that it is of the “silent-but-deadly” variety and remember to fix your opponent with the most furious glare you can muster when your misdeed wafts up to nose level. If participating in a team contest a truly cunning miscreant will first peruse the other boards in the match and then “leave a present” behind the enemy player with the most outstanding advantage before sauntering innocently on.

Likewise, nose picking and earwax mining are also unacceptable unless you can turn the fruits of your probing to your advantage by depositing your “prize” on to your queen in order to discourage her capture. Remember to say “J’adoube” as you do though so that you are not compelled to move her majesty in unfavourable circumstances and to ensure that your opponent has noticed your prophylaxis.

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2 Responses to “Caïssa’s Wisdom: #7 – Bad Manners in Chess”

  1. Adrian Dawson

    Nov 17. 2012

    The words of a maestro of these well used tactics.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dave Shapland

    Nov 26. 2012

    I learnt everything I know from you Adrian! :)

    Reply to this comment

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