How To Beat An International Chess Master In A Blitz Game

How to Beat an International Chess Master in a Blitz Game

That’s very hard, if not impossible, unless you are a Grandmaster yourself. At the time, in early seventies, I was far from that title, and as the time progressed I got even farther.
If you were an inspiring chess player back then, Yugoslavia was the place to be, more precisely the city of Belgrade. The shrine itself was the chess club Slavia, a butt stinky hole the size of a Manhattan apartment. If you were inexperienced enough to show up at the open, around 7pm, the overnight cigarette stench would throw back in the street with a straight punch. Once it was filled with fresh smoke, you could finally breathe.
And let me tell you, at the time, or any other time for that matter, the Soviets were number one in the chess world. We called them Russians, what’s the difference. Yugoslavia was second, and whenever you paired top ten Russians against the top ten Yugoslav players, we’d get our buts kicked. No wonder, their team would on average have seven former world champions, the current world champion, and two young killer sharks. But then again, if you’d to face top hundred vs. top hundred, we’d wipe them out, and make Marshal Tito throw a smirk. That’s how popular the chess was in Yugoslavia back then.
On the very bottom of that high-reaching, shiny totem pole, a hair above the tallest ant’s back and smelling the African soil, I’d play my ambitious chess game at Slavia. Fortunately, everybody handicapped everybody – these were no free matches, always a wager at hand – so I’d win some and lose some. The Grandmaster Ljubojevic, his *** hurting from the pole’s tip, would play the monk of the shrine, or housekeeper if you prefer, Master Candidate Ferdinand Mrsha thirty seconds vs. three minutes, and so on.
Few months down the line, I decided to up my game level, make some money in the process (and let my pride live happily ever after), so I went on spending ten, twelve hours every single day studying chess theory, mostly openings, so I don’t get knocked out in early rounds. Soon enough, I started playing blitz tournaments (five minutes per player), and other tournaments varying from half an hour to two hours per game. One day, playing at The Yugoslav Workers’ Championship in Vrnjacka Banja (out of five hundred of us, there were probably less than a hundred workers there, even though it was mandatory to show a proof – I miss those days!), and it was based on the so-called eleven round Swiss system: you lose, you sit further down the hall for your next match, and vice versa. After losing the first two games, I was playing somewhere deep in the back, when a friend of mine came along (as if needed him while trying to concentrate), pointed at the end of the hall and shouted: ‘Well, Georgy, if you lose this one we’ll have to tear down this wall!’
On the bright side, and proving the point that if you take enough beating you might get lucky, on one occasion I was playing a blitz tournament somewhere in Belgrade, looking pretty in the middle of the board, when my next opponent turned out to be the tourney’s favorite, my buddy Bobby Kovacevic, who not much later went on to become an International Master and Yugoslav new hope. I was relieved. At last I didn’t feel the pressure to win – how could I, the guy is a rising chess monster – plus I knew I wouldn’t hate him after I lost. You can connect the dots yourself, plus my queen chased his bare king until his flag dropped. A perfect insult to a merrily inflicted injury.
gdjuric gdjuric
51-55, M
Jun 25, 2011