The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Soused-up spectacle

There have been a few well-documented incidents in the past when prominent sportsmen have got sufficiently soused up and faced reprimands as well as angry reactions from the public. Names that come to mind include cricket players such as England’s Andrew Flintoff and Australia’s Andrew Symonds.

One would not, normally, associate a quiet (though intense) game of chess to witness this, though.

But, it did happen.

He is a part of what is referred to as “the Blitz Brothers” (his brother represents the other part), and is a Russian-born, Kazakhistan-raised, French player called Vladislav Tkachiev. Ranked 58th in the world, and known to be a rather colourful and fast-living character, Tkachiev prefers rapid-fire “blitz chess” (hence the nickname) to the more traditional slow game.

His offence this time? He showed up drunk at a Grandmaster’s tournament in Kolkatta.

Vladislav Tkachiev

Having completed only a few moves, interspersed with repeated dozing off at the table, the maverick chess player had to be finally carried off, and ended up forfeiting his match.

Many prominent players, such as British grandmaster Nigel Short, demanded that strong punishment be meted out to Tkachiev.

Being sozzled in private is a matter of personal choice. In public, and especially in a tournament, this is not.

And if this sort of thing happens in a competition, the best solution would be to have the player ejected.

Isn’t this what would happen to a drunken spectator?



September 6, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that, Other Sport | , , , , ,

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