Thursday, 5 October 2017


Forget about Magnus Carlsen winning the Isle Of Man chess, the tournament he took part in was not the most interesting tournament of the occasion.

The real interesting tournament was the Minor chess tournament which run alongside Magnus Carlsen`s tournament.

It was interesting for a bad reason which seems to plague what we could call "Amateur Chess."

Before the Minor tournament even started I was able to tell colleagues who would win it easily, plus I could point out that the winner would be one of the competitors who was not particularly highly rated!

A few years ago, I noticed a guy playing in one of the Gibraltar Amateur due to his "body language."  He was strolling about the place radiating an outward "super confidence" which belied his "Amateur status" and his rating of approx 1400!

Naturally he won the tournament, I suspect he may have won the same tournament on the following year as well!

His rating seems to have went up a little since Gibraltar, but not enough to hinder him, entering and easily winning the 2017 IOM  Minor tournament.

It has reached the stage where "Amateur chess players," who enter tournaments for people with ratings below 2000, need to start ascertaining before the tournament starts, whether all the "competitors" are legitimate or not.  It is too late to say or do anything once the tournament has started.

I am pretty certain if I see an Amateur chess tournament anywhere in Europe, and the entry consists of some "Moroccan players," some "Nigerian players" or some "Romanian players" then it is impossible to know if the players are genuinely of an amateur playing strength or not.

The first time I came across this phenomenon was in Gibraltar in 2009.  A certain Mr. Haddou Sellak from Morroco was put down in the starting list as approx a 1200 player.  

He exhibited the exact same body language as the "Romanian guy" who won the recent IOM Minor.

Body language can be a very interesting subject.  I did write about it on another blog.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

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