Saturday, 10 March 2012

Insulting my opponent?

Last year I blogged about the Halasz! Opening, and today at Street Chess it made a re-appearance. Filling the role of the House-Man (a person who plays to remove the bye from a tournament), I was paired against Matt Radisich, Canberra's leading (only?) exponent of the Halasz! Despite the cry of "Halasz!" on move 3, the opening did not work in his favour and I was 2 pawns up. It was at this point I decided to attack one of his knights with my h pawn, but just as my pinky began to push the pawn to h6 I realised the knight could simply take my rook for free. "Arbiter!" he cried as I retracted my finger. "Yes, I have to move the pawn" I replied in my dual role of player and arbiter and completed the move. The rook was captured with some good natured ribbing, but that wasn't the end of it. "Of course I will now insult you by not resigning" was my next comment, and the game continued. Now I'm not sure whether it was the pressure of playing on a rook up, or the voice in the back of his head going "There is no way you can lose this", but a combination of lackadaisical moves and some positional compensation for me (two good bishops to start with, followed by connected passed centre pawns), saw the game slowly unravel for Matt, until I won back enough material to end up with a better R+P ending. And at this point he had had enough and resigned (quite cheerfully I must add). While it was all played in good spirits I still feel a little guilty. If it had happened to an opponent rated above me I would have resigned on the spot. The fact he was lower rated was the only reason I chose to play on. So while the fact that I won seems to justify my decision, I still think it is a little unfair for lower rated players to be treated differently than higher rated players. But what say you?


Paul said...

If it's unfair to treat lower rated players differently than others, then you treat them the way you feel that should be treated...:-)

Anonymous said...

It's fair enough. Btw it's a part of the game and probably the weaker player will learn more when he/she tries to win and at all just play the game.


Henrik Mortensen

Anonymous said...


Don't feel guilty it's MATRAD give him heaps!


Louis said...

At this (sub-IM, sub-GM?) level, I'd say that typically a game is completely lost only after a series of mistakes - silly or not. In a sense the rating system is a reflection of how well someone can win a "won" position, so yes it's a good learning experience for a lower-rated person to go through the process of winning/finishing the game. We just take it for granted that a higher-rated person has already learnt his/her lessons!