The great Polish/Russian/French grandmaster from the golden age of chess, Savielly Tartakower, once wisely observed that he had never beaten a truly healthy opponent. That is, Tartakower discovered that most players prefer to make all manner of excuses in trying to explain away their defeats–including making up stories of ill health–rather than to acknowledge that their opponent simply played better on a given day.
Is this good behaviour? Is this what one would expect of a gentleman? I don’t know for sure…and–besides–who am I to pass judgement on others when I have probably been guilty of the same at one time or another in my own games! Nobody likes losing, and especially when one mistakes the confidence of one’s adversary as arrogance it is easy to become frustrated and say or do something that one does not really mean or intend…
Just several weeks ago we were able to witness something similar when the world champion–Magnus Carlsen–realized that he was not going to win the World Blitz Championship in Berlin. Some say that Carlsen even used the ‘F’-word!
FAST FORWARD TO FRIDAY:
At the Bilbao Masters 5-time world champion V.Anand lost for the first timeto the Dutch star A.Giri…who then perhaps a bit naively showed a tad too much RESPECT to his distinguished and much older opponent:
AND WHAT DID ANAND SAY?
Anand, after the game, with his ‘W.T.F!’ look…
Well, not quite ‘FUCK YOU’ in Norwegian Hindu, but certainly very Freudian!!