Another odd brain lapse


check please?Black to move

Here’s an oddity. I can’t recall this ever happening to me before.

In this position, as Black, I went into a deep (for me) consideration of
23…Bb4 24.Rxd3 Rxd3 25.Bxd3 Bxc5
23…Re2 24.Bxe2 (forced) dxe2+ 25.Kxe2 Rxd2+ and White’s various responses; I liked this once I realized that instead of something like 26.Ke3 Rb2 27.Kd3 Be1 (not 27…Rxb3 28.Kc4), where I win the f-pawn but White gets his queenside counterplay rolling, I could simply play 26…Rd5 and win the c-pawn. Much cleaner.
So I reached out and played 23….Re2 — and announced “check”.
I do not know why I said this, since it isn’t check.
I guess part of my brain had skipped ahead one move?

26 thoughts on “Another odd brain lapse

  1. I don’t think it’s intended as an insult to the other’s playing ability :)

    Actually I recall a long-ago OTB game against SOMEBODY in this comment thread where we had to take back a move in a time scramble because SOMEBODY overlooked that he was in check.

  2. Oh, that’s what you did. Sorry. You could really F up someone in a time scramble is you do that. Would that be considered cheating?

    1. Howard — your question reminds me of the following game I played back in the days when everyone in my part of the world used descriptive notation. For the benefit of those of you who weren’t playing in those days, I have painstakingly converted my game score into algebraic notation:

      1980 Mass. Upper Elementary Northeast District Championship
      Reading, MA

      White: NN (Unr.)
      Black: Greg K. (1322)

      1. e4 c5
      2. Bc4 Nc6
      3. Qh5 e6
      4. Qxf7#

      My opponent announced “checkmate” and extended her hand. Of course, I played:

      4 . . . Kxf7, at which point my opponent resigned. 0-1.

      Needless to say, I did not accuse my opponent of cheating. But perhaps under different circumstances (such as a time scramble) where check (or checkmate) is being announced abusively, incorrectly, and clearly not in good faith, I might consider complaining to the TD.

  3. What a lot of fun comments…I think almost everyone has announced mate at some point in their career and then been shown to be wrong. Or perhaps that’s just me.

    As for saying “check”, I stopped it shortly after I started playing rated chess, but my favorite was the guy at my club many years ago who said “guard” every time he attacked your queen. I think that went out of fashion around the time of the Battle of Waterloo–he was old, but he wasn’t that old!

  4. In 1995 I was a nine-year-old, but I already knew not to announce a check, since most of my opponents would see one. In one of the games in scholastic tournament I was winning early on, and rather let my guard down. At some point I played Qc5 giving a check to white king on c1. Only after I let the queen go I saw that his own queen was on f2 and could take mine. Fortunately, I quickly realize where my main chance lies, and, having mustered all courage I had, firmly announced “Check!”

    My opponent took my word for it, and after Kb1 Qxf2 has sealed the game.

  5. i was playing matan pritellensky and he announced checkmate, however it was decidedly NOT checkmate… a bunch of unpleasantness ensued as he believed that I had resigned the game, though I protested and we resumed…. and of course it quickly fizzled into a draw! lol

  6. GK – an excellent defense effort!

    Robert – I have never heard “guard” before. That’s pretty funny.

    Denys – well played :)

    Timtam – what’s more fun than a big argument right at time control? Good times.

    All – I guess I’ll stop saying check.

  7. “Gardez la dame.” I think the French used to say it awaaaaay back. they were very gallant in those days.

    Quite a few of the older crowd used to tip their king to resign, too, but I think that’s also out of style.

  8. “Gardez la dame” is French for “I’m about to take your woman,” ce n’est pas? Maybe not that gallant :)

    I still see king-tipping, mostly by kids I think. Maybe it’s making a comeback.

  9. (Matt Phelps was in Disney for a week and has no brain, or money, left.)

    Don’t say “check.” I’ll slap you with a fine if you do. Besides, if you are in a sudden death time control, it may get you a free two minutes if your opponent doesn’t notice a check, so why help him or her?

  10. Last night I mentioned this at the club and everyone from 1350 up to 2450 looked at me like I’m an ignoramus.

    Evidently I missed the boat on this issue for the past 30 years.

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