Disclaimer: This article is based on real-life incidents and should not be taken offensively. This is taken from observations over time and NOT on any specific individual or on his/her traits. Your discretion is advised.
Chess is always fun! I’m sure you will agree with me on it. Apart from winning, losing, emotions and atmosphere there is something else that spices up the game. I have an unusual habit of observing players that come by. Trust me, I am not being judgmental or sarcastic, but this is just part of me which I am born with. My mother often complains that I get distracted by this, but I can’t help but watch people and ‘admire’.
In all these years of playing chess, I have classified them into these types. Again, no fingers pointed at anyone.
Mr. Take your time: These people appear just five minutes before the walkover time when you’re drooling for that free point. They will slowly sit down, put the bag aside with no rush, put the coffee aside carefully, comb their hair neatly, fish their pen out, fill their scoresheet without any hurry, adjust the pieces on their fingertips as if they are meant to be kept as decoration, take an enormous breath, shake hands and finally, painfully play ‘e5’ and feather-touch the clock. Phew!!
Mr. Why so serious: They appear serious as if they had a bad morning, they never smile and they give a very cold and lifeless handshake. They don’t eat anything themselves and dislike their opponents eating as well. Any sound from another board and they will sulk while looking at that board with a pointed look. They dislike their opponents shaking their legs or pressing the clock hard. Win or loss, their expression is always the same- stony.
Ms. Perfectionist: Why ‘Ms’ is because it is more often girls than boys. They are pretty punctual, they carry a lot of stationary, as big as the cabin luggage all neatly kept on the table. They have impeccable handwriting and their movements are graceful, be it eating or drinking. They appear calm and do not show their emotions quite easily.
Mr. Made for eating: They generally carry a kitchen with them. They will munch and chew and repeat. Better are those polite ones who offer you their food. As if that wasn’t enough, you can see them after the game is over chomping on more food! Unmoved by the result they continue chewing.
Mr. Midget: These guys are better not messed with or underestimated. They are barely higher than the table yet they have an air of menace around them. They appear disinterested and clumsy, often accompanied by a runny nose, scattered footwear under the table, pen marks all over them and a half eaten pen. Never try to fix their ways; they know the rules very well. Beware!
Mr. Pins under their seat: These are the guys that rarely sit. The moment you write down your move and look up they are on the other side of the hall, spectating on other’s games. Their frequent standing sometimes gives the impression of winning. They seem to find the washroom so interesting that they go every alternate move. When they sit, they change their posture every ten seconds from Spider-man to Superman to Batman.
The Baby Bones: I say ‘Baby Bones’ but it is nothing to do with age. When it isn’t in their favour, they panic, they shake their legs vigorously, they start asking for draws, their eyes become red and they sniffle. When it is over, they become inconsolable. Nevertheless, they are fine ten minutes after coming out of the hall.
Well, isn’t it fun? I am sure, you too might have come across these types as well and maybe many more.
Honestly, I never had any problems with my opponents so far. None of them have tarnished the image of this game as far as I know. Chess has always been a royal game and has earned its respect as a gentleman’s game. After all, what is a game without these diversities!