Thursday, 10 May 2007

Grandmaster interferes with play

When putting together this morning's piece about Buenos Aires 1994 I came across a witty anecdote about a grandmaster 'interfering with play'. It happened in the 9th round of the Lloyds Bank tournament that year, when English IM's, Gary Lane and Chris Ward were drawn together and both having realistic hopes of qualifying for the PCA Grand Prix:

"The tension was extreme as time drifted away, then in serious zeitnot, the two players blitzed out their remaining moves in order to attain the time control. A reconstruction was then required to see if they had indeed made the necessary 40 moves.

The tension fell, Lane and Ward took their place to finish their critical game. ...
Lane was thinking about his next move when suddenly the Estonian GM Lembit Oll passed behind Lane, reached over his shoulder picked up the queen and placed it on e4!! Completely dumbfounded, the two players explained that rather than analyzing they were in fact still playing. Shocked by his mistake Oll blushed and immediately ran out of the playing hall.

Coming back to their senses, the two Englishmen could not restrain themselves from bursting out laughing. Other players naturally (who had not seen the incident) asked them to be quiet, whereupon Lane and Ward explained what had happened which led equally naturally to general uproar!

The story doesn't end there; everyone then settled back down to their games and Lane, after some thought, played the move suggested by Oll: 45 Qg4-e4(!)

Phlegmatically, Chris Ward wryly smiled to his opponent and coined the phrase: 'The move recommended by the grandmaster!'", Christophe Gueneau, Sicilian Love

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.