Trash talk is a rich part of chess culture. Born in the coffeehouses and parks where real chess is played, where real men (and women battle) and only cowards turn down a sacrifice, and no one pays a mite of attention to the elements.
Here are three amusing, ridiculous, or even historic incidents of trash talk over the board, in print, and in media:-
3. This Park Hustler
In one the most viral clips in chess history, GM Maurice Ashley and his park hustling opponent, Wilson, maintain a constant stream of trash talk designed to distract their opponent. Pay particular attention to the lightning-fast sleight of hand attempted while the hustler was taking Maurcie’s knight.
Couldn’t understand what happened. I got your back and will provide the slow motion clip down below.
And I know many of you would like to check out the game, so I have attached it down below for you. The sleight of hand by the hustler occurs at move 21
2. Anish Giri on Twitter
Is there a greater friend to a chess journalist then Anish Giri? The witty Dutchman has been regaling audience members with his barbs for the last half decade. Often, what seems clearly barbed to observers, seems just a general observation to Giri. Perhaps he is not trying to talk trash? Perhaps it is just a gift? Here he is dissing Norwegians.
Not bragging, but on the way home Dutch board 1 and 5 clearly humiliated (Play)Magnus @GMRobinVK #bestoneyet #instyle pic.twitter.com/OJgxzU6RJn
— Anish Giri (@anishgiri) August 15, 2014
Anish Giri tweets, “Not bragging, but on the way home Dutch board 1 and 5 clearly humiliated (Play)Magnus”. But that’s not it. Magnus Carlsen returns as thanos and destroys Anish Giri with his reply.
@anishgiri @GMRobinVK Since no result was posted I’m anxious to see how you messed that one up!
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) August 15, 2014
Magnus Carlsen writes, “Since no result was posted I’m anxious to see how you messed that one up!”. But will Anish Giri be quiet? Absolutely NOT! He does post a screenshot ending this dramatic tweet with a #NowWhat
@MagnusCarlsen @GMRobinVK Good try. Knowing who I am dealing with, I made one more screenshot. #NowWhat pic.twitter.com/Bl4phHUiiB
— Anish Giri (@anishgiri) August 15, 2014
And Magnus didn’t reply after that. What could he reply? But still win-win for both sides. Anish giri got to roast Magnus Carlsen and increase his online presence. While Magnus got free promotion for his app, Play Magnus. by not only on twitter, but by other sites like me which are doubling this effect. Maybe magnus wanted Anish Giri to beat his app on purpose kinda like Elon Musk. Who knows?
1. “Never in my life have I had such a won game after ten moves as I have now!” – Siegbert Tarrasch
Are there weightier words in the history of chess? With this sentence, Tarrasch denounced a young Aron Nimzowitsch, the man who would later tear away the classical conceptions that Tarrasch asserted so dogmatically in his esteemed writings.
The young Nimzowitsch attended university in Berlin, but played more chess than studied in university and played in an aggressive style totally unlike the style he was permanently associated. Here is one incredible coffeehouse finish he played. Below is just an example of his great attacking style featuring some amazing sacrifices and an amazing checkmate. If I hadn’t known who played this, I would have guessed Mikhail Tal. See it for yourself.
Nimzowitsch raised some funds to tempt Tarrasch to play a training game, but then (against Tarrasch’s wishes), he informed press and friends of the match. Tarrasch was incensed and played to initially punish the insolent Nimzowitsch. The opening was a resounding success for him, which inspired the above line. Although Nimzowitsch later drew the game. Tarrasch’s words, manner, and general dogmatism got to him and were fuel for his remarkable later writings that literally tore apart the classical thinking with which Tarrasch was associated and exposed fresh veins of thought in chess.
Hope you enjoyed this article. I am planning to start this trash talk series but I’m afraid there isn’t enough content available to write about or I don’t have exposure to as many. So do share some ideas and thoughts in the comments below.