Sunday, 29 May 2011

I've never beaten a healthy opponent

I've come down with a cold in the last few days, and so most of the weekend has been spent sniffling and lying in bed (apart from a schools chess competition on Friday, and Street Chess on Saturday). But I did have a friendly game with a friend of my daughters today, and during the game she told me that all the school friends she beats complained of being tired or sick etc. I explained to her that there is a well known chess quote "I've never beaten a healthy opponent", although I avoided using the excuse myself by beating her in our game.
In fact the quote is almost entirely connected to chess, as a google search on the quote turns up 22 occurrences, with only 1 non chess result (and even that one refers to the chess quote). I'm a little surprised it isn't used in other sports. Maybe this is because chess players can be real cry babies at times. What do you think?


Lauri said...

Yeah. Mostly I have just "been lucky" or my opponent unlucky according to people who have lost to me. I find it odd as chess is the only game where I personally feel luck has got nothing to do with the game. Even when in blitz in practice I am sure luck is there also but even there I do think you make your own luck or unluck. Personally I find it somehow liberating that there is something I can blame or thank only myself for.

Nick Beare said...

Reminds me of Fischer on his way to the World Championship. Everyone who played him seemed to contract a life threatening illness.

Anonymous said...

Steinitz wrote that a chessmaster has no more right to be sick than a general on a battlefield.

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