Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Former World Chess Champion Tal

 

Tal was an exuberant person. He was closer to a bohemian than a dissident in the Soviet Union. He became world champion by defeating Botvinnik in 1960. He was known for his wild attacking style. One game had to be moved to a private room because the crowd was so amazed by Tal’s slashing attack that they refused to be quiet.

In the mid 1980s, an Englishman who was working towards the grandmaster title was playing at the same tournament had this encounter. After Rogers drew an endgame minus 2 pawns vs. Viktor Garikov, Ian and his wife Cathy were joined in the lift by Tal, who asked how the adjourned game had gone. On being told, Tal cracked up with laughter…

“Soviet champion!..2 pawns up!..Only a draw!!

He was known for his hypnotic stare during games.


GM Pal Benko wore sunglasses when he played Tal in the 1959 candidates match.

Tal plays future world champion Spassky in speed chess.

Here are two more casual pictures.

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  1. Southern Pessimist Member

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively. I decided to quit competitive chess when I went two nights in a row without sleeping because of the stress. I left pediatrics after 11 years when I went two nights without sleep because of worries about the changes coming. I retired from my lucrative practice in radiology not too many years later for the same reason. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    • #1
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  2. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively. I decided to quit competitive chess when I went two nights in a row without sleeping because of the stress. I left pediatrics after 11 years when I went two nights without sleep because of worries about the changes coming. I retired from my lucrative practice in radiology not too many years later for the same reason. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    Bobby Fischer said, “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” Some of Tal’s opponents in simultaneous exhibitions were pleased to be the opponent and victim of one of his wonderful attacks. 

    • #2
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:39 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fischer had won the US Championship at 14 in 1958 and won the next seven he planned in over the following eight years. The Soviets were concerned. The Soviets had claimed the world championship in 1948 and from then until 1972, the defending champion and the challenger were Soviet. Fischer showed every possibility of breaking that streak during his meteoric rise. Other possible non-Soviet challengers like Bent Larsen were considered respectfully, but Fischer was seen as the most likely Mule to the Soviet’s Foundation.

    Mikhail Tal was the first of three anti-Fischers. In 1959 Tal played Fischer five times, winning four and drawing one and was recognized as a master attacker. Tal himself would admit that he did not always see his way to victory before committing to an attack, but he would prevail in part because his successes and reputation unnerved many of his opponents. Tal beat Botvinnik for the championship in 1960, and never beat Fischer again. Botvinnik won the championship back from Tal in 1961 and the Soviets moved on to a new anti-Fischer, Petrosian, a great positional player. He fell out of favor when he failed to defeat Fischer in 1966 in tournament play. So the Soviets wheeled out a new hero with a superlative attacking game and a superlative positional game, Boris Spassky. The rest is history. A fourth anti-Fischer, Karpov, ended up never facing Fischer in competition. Fischer never defended his championship.

    Tal played some brilliant games late into his career, but once Fischer had solved him he was no longer the heir apparent with all of the resources of Soviet chess at his command. But he was always Tal, always dangerous even by top grandmaster standards, a true gladiator.

    • #3
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:53 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    Fischer had won the US Championship at 14 in 1958 and won the next seven he planned in over the following eight years. The Soviets were concerned. The Soviets had claimed the world championship in 1948 and from then until 1972, the defending champion and the challenger were Soviet. Fischer showed every possibility of breaking that streak during his meteoric rise. Other possible non-Soviet challengers like Bent Larsen were considered respectfully, but Fischer was seen as the most likely Mule to the Soviet’s Foundation.

    Mikhail Tal was the first of three anti-Fischers. In 1959 Tal played Fischer five times, winning four and drawing one and was recognized as a master attacker. Tal himself would admit that he did not always see his way to victory before committing to an attack, but he would prevail in part because his successes and reputation unnerved many of his opponents. Tal beat Botvinnik for the championship in 1960, and never beat Fischer again. Botvinnik won the championship back from Tal in 1961 and the Soviets moved on to a new anti-Fischer, Petrosian, a great positional player. He fell out of favor when he failed to defeat Fischer in 1966 in tournament play. So the Soviets wheeled out a new hero with a superlative attacking game and a superlative positional game, Boris Spassky. The rest is history.

    Tal played some brilliant games late into his career, but once Fischer had solved him he was no longer the heir apparent with all of the resources of Soviet chess at his command. But he was always Tal, always dangerous even by top grandmaster standards.

    Tal had medical problems which he made worse by his bohemian lifestyle. After 1962, I think he only played Fischer in the unofficial speed chess championship of 1970. Fischer had long periods in which he did not play internationally.

    • #4
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Tal sneaked out of the hospital to play in one last speed chess tournament a month before his death. https://youtu.be/HOeLubtYbaA

    • #5
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Tal had medical problems which he made worse by his bohemian lifestyle. After 1962, I think he only played Fischer in the unofficial speed chess championship of 1970. Fischer had long periods in which he did not play internationally.

    Tal’s last classical chess tournament was in 92. Yes, his lifestyle ruined his health and that unavoidably affected his play. They last played classical in 1962. From 1960 on Fischer took two wins and three draws against no losses from Tal. I see two blitz games from 1970 with Fischer winning both. Fischer from 1966 to 1972 was on an incredible arc. In 1971 in world championship qualifier matches he beat top grandmasters Taimanov and Larsen (who I mentioned before) 6-0 each. An unheard of feat in modern championship play. Defeated former champion and anti-Fischer Petrosian four wins to one with three draws. Then, of course, Fischer wins the championship from Spassky after digging himself a two loss hole to start, seven wins to three with eleven draws. He actually lost rating points, though his rating still towered over the rest.

    The other factor in keeping Tal and Fischer from meeting over the board was the Soviets trying to limit Fischer’s opportunities to face Soviet chess talent. Whether to avoid embarrassment or to withhold top competitors from his board since at the time they had most of the top 20 players in the world. They certainly weren’t dodging each other.

    • #6
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Tal had medical problems which he made worse by his bohemian lifestyle. After 1962, I think he only played Fischer in the unofficial speed chess championship of 1970. Fischer had long periods in which he did not play internationally.

    Tal’s last classical chess tournament was in 92. Yes, his lifestyle ruined his health and that unavoidably affected his play. They last played classical in 1962. From 1960 on Fischer took two wins and three draws against no losses from Tal. I see two blitz games from 1970 with Fischer winning both. Fischer from 1966 to 1972 was on an incredible arc. In 1971 in world championship qualifier matches he beat top grandmasters Taimanov and Larsen (who I mentioned before) 6-0 each. An unheard of feat in modern championship play. Defeated former champion and anti-Fischer Petrosian four wins to one with three draws. Then, of course, Fischer wins the championship from Spassky after digging himself a two loss hole to start, seven wins to three with eleven draws. He actually lost rating points, though his rating still towered over the rest.

    The other factor in keeping Tal and Fischer from meeting over the board was the Soviets trying to limit Fischer’s opportunities to face Soviet chess talent. Whether to avoid embarrassment or to withhold top competitors from his board since at the time they had most of the top 20 players in the world. They certainly weren’t dodging each other.

    Fischer after the chess candidates in 1962, where he correctly accused the Soviets of colluding, largely withdrew from international chess competition for a few years. He played the Capablanca memorial in 1965 by teletype. His first big international tournament was the Piatigorsky Cup in 1966. He was rusty and lost three games in a row. In the second half, he caught fire and almost caught Spassky. He had another long hiatus before playing in the USSR vs World match in 1970.

    • #7
    • August 7, 2020, at 9:23 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    Richard Easton:

    Who won?


    This is the Quote of the Day. If you have a quotation (or something like it) you would like to share to honor someone, why not go to our sign-up sheet and pick a date?

    • #8
    • August 7, 2020, at 9:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Bob Thompson Member

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively. I decided to quit competitive chess when I went two nights in a row without sleeping because of the stress. I left pediatrics after 11 years when I went two nights without sleep because of worries about the changes coming. I retired from my lucrative practice in radiology not too many years later for the same reason. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    I never played much chess but I absolutely agree about the sleep, the loss of which indicates an excessive stress level, IMO. I’ve had that in my life a couple of times as well and promptly acted to correct it. I’m old now and I sleep a solid 8 to 9 hours nightly sometimes with a 5 minute interruption for a trip to the bathroom. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    • #9
    • August 7, 2020, at 9:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Randy Webster Member

    Richard Easton: joined in the lift

    Is that the same as an elevator, Limey?

    • #10
    • August 8, 2020, at 2:56 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: joined in the lift

    Is that the same as an elevator, Limey?

    Yes. The man who told the story lives in Scotland.

    • #11
    • August 8, 2020, at 3:42 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. OldPhil Coolidge

    Until this post, the only reason I knew about him was as a three-letter answer in crossword puzzles. Thanks!

    • #12
    • August 8, 2020, at 5:29 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Randy Webster Member

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    • #13
    • August 8, 2020, at 6:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Poindexter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Richard Easton:

    Who won?


    This is the Quote of the Day. If you have a quotation (or something like it) you would like to share to honor someone, why not go to our sign-up sheet and pick a date?

    I love this picture.

    • #14
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:37 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Flicker Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    And football when the Colts left town in a tractor trailer in the middle of the night.

    • #15
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Randy Webster Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    And football when the Colts left town in a tractor trailer in the middle of the night.

    I was a Packers fan.

    • #16
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. OldPhil Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    And football when the Colts left town in a tractor trailer in the middle of the night.

    I was a Packers fan.

    That kick in 65 was wide.

    • #17
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:51 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Randy Webster Member

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    And football when the Colts left town in a tractor trailer in the middle of the night.

    I was a Packers fan.

    That kick in 65 was wide.

    Was that in the Ice Bowl? I watched it, but I don’t remember a missed field goal.

    • #18
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. OldPhil Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    And football when the Colts left town in a tractor trailer in the middle of the night.

    I was a Packers fan.

    That kick in 65 was wide.

    Was that in the Ice Bowl? I watched it, but I don’t remember a missed field goal.

    It was the 1965 “playoff” game between the tied Colts and Packers. There were no tiebreakers then for regular season ties. Went to OT, Don Chandler kicked the game winner, which was disputed. The next season the NFL put an official at each goalpost (previously just one in the middle) and extended the uprights because of the controversial call.

    • #19
    • August 8, 2020, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I quit paying attention when Bobby Fischer retired, much like I quit paying attention to boxing when Ali retired.

    And football when the Colts left town in a tractor trailer in the middle of the night.

    I was a Packers fan.

    That kick in 65 was wide.

    Was that in the Ice Bowl? I watched it, but I don’t remember a missed field goal.

    It was the 1965 “playoff” game between the tied Colts and Packers. There were no tiebreakers then for regular season ties. Went to OT, Don Chandler kicked the game winner, which was disputed. The next season the NFL put an official at each goalpost (previously just one in the middle) and extended the uprights because of the controversial call.

    I watched a program where a Colt gave a Packer a goal post. It was extended on the side which Chandler’s kick went.

    • #20
    • August 8, 2020, at 4:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Here’s the famous game 6 from the 1960 world chess championship match. Some knowledge of chess is required for this analysis.

    • #21
    • August 8, 2020, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. David Pettus Coolidge

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively. I decided to quit competitive chess when I went two nights in a row without sleeping because of the stress. I left pediatrics after 11 years when I went two nights without sleep because of worries about the changes coming. I retired from my lucrative practice in radiology not too many years later for the same reason. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    Bobby Fischer said, “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” Some of Tal’s opponents in simultaneous exhibitions were pleased to be the opponent and victim of one of his wonderful attacks.

    There’s a story (don’t know if it’s true) that Fischer was beating Tal once and Fischer got kind of cocky and wrote down his next move on his scoresheet (presumably the winning move) and showed it to Tal with a big smile on his face. Tal got up, leaving Fischer sitting at the board wondering what was going on. Tal walked up to another Russian grandmaster, started talking quietly and pointing toward Fischer. Then both Tal and the other guy burst into laughter. Fischer got flummoxed, made a different move and lost the game.

    Like I said, I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s a pretty good story.

    • #22
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Southern Pessimist Member

    When I was a competitive chess player, my success was entirely related to having studied end game theory by a Grand Master who I think was named Horowitz. My goal in every match was to reduce the board to as few pieces as possible. Most chess games never get to the end game like most games we play in life. If you learn how to play the end game you know how to play any game.

    • #23
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:37 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    David Pettus (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively. I decided to quit competitive chess when I went two nights in a row without sleeping because of the stress. I left pediatrics after 11 years when I went two nights without sleep because of worries about the changes coming. I retired from my lucrative practice in radiology not too many years later for the same reason. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    Bobby Fischer said, “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” Some of Tal’s opponents in simultaneous exhibitions were pleased to be the opponent and victim of one of his wonderful attacks.

    There’s a story (don’t know if it’s true) that Fischer was beating Tal once and Fischer got kind of cocky and wrote down his next move on his scoresheet (presumably the winning move) and showed it to Tal with a big smile on his face. Tal got up, leaving Fischer sitting at the board wondering what was going on. Tal walked up to another Russian grandmaster, started talking quietly and pointing toward Fischer. Then both Tal and the other guy burst into laughter. Fischer got flummoxed, made a different move and lost the game.

    Like I said, I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s a pretty good story.

    That happened in the 1959 Candidates. Tal went 4-0 against Fischer which helped him win it and play for the world championship in 1960.

    • #24
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively.

    High school chess players who blow cigar smoke at their opponents? That’s one tough high school.

    • #25
    • August 9, 2020, at 12:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  26. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively.

    High school chess players who blow cigar smoke at their opponents? That’s one tough high school.

    The only time I ever smoked a cigar.

    It was actually one of those cigarillo things, made Turkish cigarettes seem aromatic. Tobacco raised in a skunk cage. It was a USCF tournament, my first, at GW University. Also dressed very loudly. Never bothered with that again.

    • #26
    • August 9, 2020, at 12:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Steven Seward Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Here’s the famous game 6 from the 1960 world chess championship match. Some knowledge of chess is required for this analysis.

    Funny coincidence, I was just playing over this game a few days ago. Tal’s 21st move …Knight to f4 was for a long time considered brilliant, but modern computers have deflated its value to actually being a second best move, maybe even losing. It did have the huge benefit of making his opponent sink into a deep think about how to refute the brazen sacrifice, and it is always more difficult for the defender in such situations. It also took a lot of guts to play a move like that against the reigning World Champion.

    For several years, Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov (four-time U.S. Chess Champion) drove from his house in Pittsburgh to my house in Cleveland to give group chess lessons to me and about 15 – 20 of my friends. Shabalov grew up in Latvia and lived just a couple of blocks away from Mikhail Tal, and took lessons from and played with him all during his childhood. He even helped Tal prepare for important events by analyzing openings and games of his upcoming opponents. There is a statement from Tal somewhere where he said Shabalov was his most promising student.

    Shabalov told me that Tal smoked and drank heavily (which was no surprise in Soviet Russia) and that he spent countless hours, nearly all waking hours, either playing or studying chess deep into the wee hours of the night. He said the guy was just transfixed by the sight of the chess board. 

    A friend of mine in Cleveland, a Polish immigrant, actually beat Tal in a tournament game back in Poland in the 1970’s. He did not keep the game score, but he showed me a rough approximation of the final position where Tal had something like three hanging pieces, and the best he could do was lose at least two of them. It was the last round of a tournament where Tal had already locked up first place, and he went berserk with a speculative sacrifice that backfired. The sacrifice was no doubt too tantalizing for Tal to pass up.

    • #27
    • August 10, 2020, at 11:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Here’s the famous game 6 from the 1960 world chess championship match. Some knowledge of chess is required for this analysis.

    Funny coincidence, I was just playing over this game a few days ago. Tal’s 21st move …Knight to f4 was for a long time considered brilliant, but modern computers have deflated its value to actually being a second best move, maybe even losing. It did have the huge benefit of making his opponent sink into a deep think about how to refute the brazen sacrifice, and it is always more difficult for the defender in such situations. It also took a lot of guts to play a move like that against the reigning World Champion.

    For several years, Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov (four-time U.S. Chess Champion) drove from his house in Pittsburgh to my house in Cleveland to give group chess lessons to me and about 15 – 20 of my friends. Shabalov grew up in Latvia and lived just a couple of blocks away from Mikhail Tal, and took lessons from and played with him all during his childhood. He even helped Tal prepare for important events by analyzing openings and games of his upcoming opponents. There is a statement from Tal somewhere where he said Shabalov was his most promising student.

    Shabalov told me that Tal smoked and drank heavily (which was no surprise in Soviet Russia) and that he spent countless hours, nearly all waking hours, either playing or studying chess deep into the wee hours of the night. He said the guy was just transfixed by the sight of the chess board.

    A friend of mine in Cleveland, a Polish immigrant, actually beat Tal in a tournament game back in Poland in the 1970’s. He did not keep the game score, but he showed me a rough approximation of the final position where Tal had something like three hanging pieces, and the best he could do was lose at least two of them. It was the last round of a tournament where Tal had already locked up first place, and he went berserk with a speculative sacrifice that backfired. The sacrifice was no doubt too tantalizing for Tal to pass up.

    I played for many years in the Chicago Industrial Chess League. Circa 1988, Tal was playing in a Chicago tournament. Two CICL people picked him up at the airport. He got off Aeroflot with two heavy bags. They carried them to the car and wondered what chess books has Tal been reading on the long plane flight. It turned out to be empty Vodka bottles from the flight.

    • #28
    • August 10, 2020, at 12:22 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Steven Seward Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I played for many years in the Chicago Industrial Chess League. Circa 1988, Tal was playing in a Chicago tournament. Two CICL people picked him up at the airport. He got off Aeroflot with two heavy bags. They carried them to the car and wondered what chess books has Tal been reading on the long plane flight. It turned out to be empty Vodka bottles from the flight.

    Ya know, that sounds familiar. I think Alexander mentioned something about him carrying booze in his luggage! Or the story might have been directed at Grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi, also a big drinker. I don’t remember for sure. I once played a simultaneous game (where a master plays many people at once) against Russian International Master Igor Ivanov. As he strolled to each chess board making his moves, he carried a brown paper bag from which he would take sips of an unknown liquid that he would not reveal by taking it out of the bag. Like Tal, he also died at a young age.

    • #29
    • August 10, 2020, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I played competitive chess while in high school and I don’t see anything in this post or the pictures that seem unusual. Every opponent I ever played either tried to intimidate me with a fierce stare or blew cigar smoke in my face aggressively. I decided to quit competitive chess when I went two nights in a row without sleeping because of the stress. I left pediatrics after 11 years when I went two nights without sleep because of worries about the changes coming. I retired from my lucrative practice in radiology not too many years later for the same reason. There is nothing in life that is worth losing sleep over.

    So did I and a tournament player for a number of years afterwards. Yes, there were lots of little intimidation techniques but none ever as intimidating as playing the little kids who looks almost bored to be there. 

    • #30
    • August 10, 2020, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes