Monday 6 May 2019

Do as I say ...

I ended up in a slightly awkward position at Street Chess yesterday. Apart from providing regular competition to Canberra's serious players it also provides a bit of free coaching and advice to people interested in starting competition chess.
Sometime I am the person providing the coaching, and my coaching method usually involves talking quite a lot. So I was playing a friendly game against a new player, and offering encouraging advice as I went along. I'd picked up a piece early, and was using this to increase my material advantage. I had even got to the point where I had a rook and a bishop, while my opponent only had a few pawns. I was halfway through explaining that more experienced players don't always go for the quick checkmate, but are happy to collect material before finishing the game off, when he quietly said to me "I think you've stalemated me". While I had been happily chatting away, he had moved his king up the board in such a way as it had no retreat, and with his remaining pawns immobilised, he had absolutely no moves at all!

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