How to play chess like an asshole


[Read the post]


Awww man! I haven’t played chess in years, but I can remember the day I realized by-the-book was boring and went on the warpath. Not only did I win, but I had loads of fun. Who knew chess could be fun?


This looks suspiciously like memorizing openings.

I love board games; I hate chess.

(Actually, I hate shogi much more. And oddly enough, I love go, though I am too scared to ever play it.)


I don’t play chess often, but these are exactly the sorts of things I have done. I didn’t realize that they are unfashionable for their lack of refinement, but I am not surprised.


Usually the people who tell me I’m not opening right lose.

These are the same people I only play with once because I like to win.


I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve won with the Fool’s Mate.

It seems to work best when some third party says “Oooh, you gotta play this guy, he’s a totally awesome chess player*” and the opponent assumes that no really good player would ever bother attempting the FM. Slips right under the radar about a third of the time in such situations. This has the side-effect of convincing said third party that you really are an awesome player…

* I’m not. Really barely competent.


The only problem with trying to pull a Fool’s mate or other cheap shot is that you WILL get burned to crisp if your opponent is wise to it.

These tricks are all part of the game, you gotta try them at least occasionally. It will make for a memorable game if it works (and even if it fails).

If you really want to be an asshole in chess, the surest way to do it is display poor sportsmanship-- like in every other game or sport. One way to do it is to enforce touching rules strictly in a friendly game (eg you touch it, you move it, or forfeit).


I was raised to play chess in the most boring way imaginable, with both sides developing their pieces into a big symmetrical knot before anything even gets taken. Worse, most chess books basically imagine you to play like a master, preparing your openings and exulting them on the basis of their success and failure at the international level.

It’s funny how often this happens in games, where the more skilled the players the more boring it somehow becomes, because all the entertaining options are “sub-optimal”. I have the impression that some sports do this, e.g. the low scores typical of professional soccer; but I’m really aware of it in video games, e.g. Super Smash Bros: the glorious chaos of four friends frantically brawling and scrambling around a shifting stage like Icicle Mountain or Poké Floats, vs. two humorless hardcores in the featureless flat void of the tournament-preferred “no items, Final Destination” setup.


fisticuffs at chess club!


Alright, here comes the token annoyed reply from someone who enjoys “boring” chess.

These sorts of traps and gimmicks can be fun, it’s true. But the reason they’re shunned at higher levels isn’t some kind of anti-fun snobbery. It’s because they don’t really work.

They’re all dependent, to varying degrees, on the other player playing badly, rather than you playing well. If your opponent plays cautiously and develops their pieces normally, these traps will fail, and you’ll go into the middle game badly behind on development. It’s only when your opponent panics at the sight of something unfamiliar and abandons the fundamentals that these types of attacks really work.

By all means, encourage people to play in ways that interest them. A lot of beginners plunge into what you think are boring openings without really understanding their strengths, and then consequently lose interest. Eventually, though, if you really want to improve, you’ve got to learn the fundamentals.

And c’mon. No need to malign the poor Giuoco Piano.


Occasionally, yes. But more often I’ll see the eyebrow go up and the quickly supressed half-smile, which tells me you’re wise to it. I only get burnt hard by the players who both notice what I’m up to and have a really good poker face. Gotta watch your opponent!


I follow the Artemis Gordon/Ross Martin approach: “If you can’t win; kick over the table!”


I’m pretty bad at go but I still enjoy playing it simply because of the beauty of the patterns that arise. Also, you can get handicaps to make the game more interesting.


All I can say is that I’ve heard (local, even) stories of chess boards being flung through the air at clubs and tournaments but I’ve never seen anything worse than a raised voice and a hasty board cleanup during 12 years of playing go F2F.


All these Internets and I can’t find even one image of Albert the Alligator throwing Pogo’s checkerboard into the air and shouting “EARTHQUAKE!!!” Not even one.



You’ll have to settle for this

Oglaf (Usually NSFW)




I don’t know what it says about me (well, maybe I do), but “How to play chess like an asshole” is the first thing to interest me in playing chess in forever.

Once I learned the basic rules and figured out I wasn’t smart enough (nor is anyone, really) to not embarrass myself with anyone who put some serious effort into chess, I was done with it. This looks like it could make it fun again. Well, fun for me, not my opponents.


I guess i must’ve been the biggest troll when playing chess as a kid in middle school by looking at these tactics. Woops? I was good at trying to think ahead as many moves as possible, and consider multiple outcomes though i don’t think i was particularly gifted with chess. Still my favorite things to do was to play real slow to force people into action, or play odd random moves in order to open an opponent’s defenses (even as i lost mine). Granted i was playing people my own age in middle school but i was never beaten. Closest i came to losing were draws.

Some games i would readily give up even my queen in order to force the player into awkward chess plays. Most of the time i was flying by the seat of my pants, but my overall goal was to throw off my opponent from any planned moves they had. I kind of miss playing but its too srsbsns for my tastes, i prefer a fun game of Uno or cards these days.