This is what started it all:
Excuses for losing
Dan Scoones wrote:
Here is my off-the-cuff top ten list:
- Dog ate scoresheet;
- Dead batteries in hidden transmitter;
- Went outside for fresh air, forgot about tournament;
- Disturbed by own reflection in opponent's sunglasses;
- Still despondent over 1964 death of Fred Reinfeld;
- Inexplicably confused ECO A29 line 13 note 87c with ECO A13
line note 87c; lost queen;
- Unlucky pairing with historical nemesis G. Kasparov;
- During play, pondered both sides of ICC controversy; lost on
- Studied book *How to Beat Bobby Fischer*; was unprepared for
- After making move, accidentally punched opponent instead of
Having started, they came thick and fast:
"What went wrong with your plan?"
"He didn't follow it!"
-- Post mortem by participants after a Korchnoi simul.
"The player who plays best in a tournament never
wins first. He finishes second behind the guy with the most
-- Savielly TARTAKOWER
"I have never had the satisfaction of beating a
completely healthy opponent."
-- Amos BURN
"Analysis: irrefutable proof that you could have
won a game that you lost."
"I can see the combinations as well as Alekhin,
but I cannot get into the same positions"
-- Rudolf SPIELMANN
Subject: Re: Best Excuses for Losing a Game
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan Scoones)
A few spares:
- Adopted Alekhin's training methods; developed uncontrollable
- "I'm not gonna pay a lot for these chess lessons!";
- Two words: opponent's breath.
- I forgot to bring my favorite pencil which always brings me
- My opponent did not stick to the book.
- The low Elo-rating of my opponent deceived me.
Martin Unger (email@example.com)
"I became confused of all the bad moves my opponent
made, and that`s the reason I lost the game. "
-- Nils J Schjelderup
- He was scowling at me (if he is twice your size)
- He had a bulge under his armpit ( if he is wearing sunglasses
and a suit - might be carrying a gun )
- She looked like she was going to cry ( a pretty girl )
- I was trying so hard not to laugh ( at his stupid blunders )
that I did not notice his trap.
- It's not fair! It was a trap!
- It was a cheapo.
Calvin Loh [firstname.lastname@example.org (Loh Weng Keong Calvin)]
I find that I am often distracted by my opponent's time
If "even a bad plan is better than no plan," does that mean that
even a poor excuse is better than none? ;)
[Made by an opponent of mine when he picked up a piece, then
realised he had to move another one]
[all of these i have heard used (or used myself)]
I was put off by my opponents T-shirt
[The complainant later won his state's title at the age of 16]
I got confused over which piece was guarded
[made by the same person, when a total of 6 pieces were left on the
I had a won position until I blundered.
I had a won position! It's in my notebook!
[used by guess who?]
He shouldn't have played on in a lost position
The tournament director got the draw wrong, I should have played
The tournament director got the draw wrong, I should have had
I wasn't taking the game seriously because it was only a club
I wasn't taking the game seriously because I couldn't win a
I thought it was a different time control.
I don't like short time controls.
I didn't want to adjourn.
I'm playing a "swiss gambit"
I was playing for a draw
[and finally a selection which should meet any need...]
too busy to study opening books
too poor to afford ECO
all these from Peter Ballard
email@example.com.AU Fri Nov 24 05:26:06 1995
And lastly, one of my very own:
"I wanted to adjourn but he made me play a