More trolling of chess tables

Different people feel differently about resigning.

Bobby Fischer

At some point in my inglorious chess career I took up an interest in individual study of annotated games.  I had one book, called something like “The 10 best chess players and the games where they prove it.”  I tried to find it on the googles to link to it, but to no avail.  Good book. Great resource. Pretty much unreadable for a normal person though.  You pretty much had to set up the chessboard and play through each game in it’s entirety to get anything out of it.  It would have a few lines of text every now and then, but if you hadn’t been following along (or have a way better brain for chess positions than I did) there would be no context for the text.  It was also in written in descriptive notation instead of algebraic (coordinate) notation.  Honestly both systems are basically equal in their merits, but algebraic has all but completely taken over, which meant I was developing a skill of thinking in a notation which was approaching obsolescence.  Over the course of several weeks my late nights at CKs Always openwith only my chess book and my magnetic chess set the size of a paper back novel I took note of something.  These Grandmaster chess games would always end when someone resigned.  Sometimes I wouldn’t even understand why, following the authors notation for several more moves to prove that defeat was inevitable.  Often we weren’t even staring a forced mate in the face, but rather a material advantage against an opponent who knows how to exploit it. This led me to new slogan to throw at people when I was trolling the chess tables:

“If you weren’t American, you would resign”

People would get really offended, as if I insulted their American-ism rather than merely observed it.

  • What’s that supposed to mean?!
  • Look at the board.  I’m up a R and a B going into the endgame
  • So?
  • So there’s no rational expectation that you could win.
  • I can still get a P across.
  • And monkeys might fly out my butt.
  • I CAN STILL WIN THIS
  • … said the American

Americans are like delusional kamikaze pilots that think they’re going to destroy the enemy and come home a hero.  They expect to stand their ground outnumbered 10 to 1 and still live happily ever after.

Someone once asked:

  • Why do you think Americans are like that?
  • Programming…
  • Minutemen vs the Redcoats
  • Root for the underdog
  • Win one for the Gipper
  • It’s not over till the fat lady sings
  • Quitters never win and winners never quit.
  • You’re American, aren’t you?
  • What makes you say that?
  • You know the dogma too well…

A couple of times I’d be playing someone in a rematch and they’d say:

  • If you weren’t American you would resign
  • The situation’s not symmetric at all.  I’m just down a B with strong central pawn structure and superior development.
  • My bad B at that.
  • I’m totally still in this.
  • You should resign and quit wasting both our time.
  • You should scold your mom for raising you with unrealistic expectations of effortless success.

Or more shockingly

  • If you weren’t American you would resign.
  • Touché, sir [Black Resigns]

As a side note on the art of trolling:  The troll leads the conversation down a path.  It feels like a spontaneous conversation to the mark, but it’s almost a rehearsed script to the troll.  You know that feeling you get when you think of a witty comeback hours later?  To the troll that comeback gets put in the arsenal of future witty comebacks.  That being said, the true Joy of Trolling (for me anyway) comes about in those moments of flow when the comebacks truly are off the cuff, and the mark can hold his own.

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3 thoughts on “More trolling of chess tables

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