Excuses for losing

This is what started it all:
Excuses for losing
Dan Scoones wrote:
Here is my off-the-cuff top ten list:

  1. Dog ate scoresheet;
  2. Dead batteries in hidden transmitter;
  3. Went outside for fresh air, forgot about tournament;
  4. Disturbed by own reflection in opponent's sunglasses;
  5. Still despondent over 1964 death of Fred Reinfeld;
  6. Inexplicably confused ECO A29 line 13 note 87c with ECO A13
    line note 87c; lost queen;
  7. Unlucky pairing with historical nemesis G. Kasparov;
  8. During play, pondered both sides of ICC controversy; lost on
  9. Studied book *How to Beat Bobby Fischer*; was unprepared for
    other opponents;
  10. 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
-- Boden

"I can see the combinations as well as Alekhin,
but I cannot get into the same positions

 Subject: Re: Best Excuses for Losing a Game
 From: rook@islandnet.com (Dan Scoones)
 A few spares:

  1. Adopted Alekhin's training methods; developed uncontrollable
  2. "I'm not gonna pay a lot for these chess lessons!";
  3. 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 (h8150875@idefix.wu-wien.ac.at)

"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 [lohwengk@iscs.nus.sg (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 noisy
too quiet
too hot
too cold
too busy to study opening books
too poor to afford ECO
too dark
too bright

all these from Peter Ballard
pballard@radlogic.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