Politics, Murderers and the Fun Resulting – Part I
It may seem that politics is a dirty game, in essence humourless. However, you could look at it from different viewpoints. Depending on your worldview, you may want to be directly involved, watch it from distance with passion or disgust or stay indifferent. This article is suited for those who refuse to be serious and like to laugh humourless things off.
The cold war was getting colder, almost frozen, with no prospects of thawing. In 1980, the West would boycott the Moscow Olympiad. But two years prior, another sports event, the 1978 World Chess Championship has been tainted by the play of the powerful. It would have been shameful for the sport itself, given it was not so absurdly funny.
The problem rooted in challenger’s defection from the Soviet Union. The red giant could not tolerate such an insult, so when Viktor Korchnoi challenged the Champion, Anatoly Karpov, the nomenclature made decision: Korchnoi must fall, and he must fall hard.
The first strike had come before the championship even commenced. The Soviets protested against Korchnoi playing under the flag of Switzerland, where he had taken refuge. As a result, he decided to play under the white flag marked “Stateless”. The championship, as well as the fun ensuing, was ready to start.
Glasses and Chair Investigation
Firstly, Karpov claimed that his opponents mirror glasses were distracting him. The reflection allegedly caused him to lose concentration. After a long trials by the jury, the challenger was allowed to keep them. Korchnoi, in a counter attack, asked for permission to bring his own chair. Karpov could not let him do that easily. The chair had to go through an x-ray examination at a local hospital before it was allowed in the room.
Korchnoi madethings a little bit more complicted for his opponent – Karpov had to use a small cusion to make level with Korčnoj. He responded with swiweling in the chair – he kept doing it until game 16.
Blueberry Yoghurt Regulation Act
Another incident happened during the second game. Karpov was delivered a glass of violet coloured yoghurt. Following note was passed to the arbiter: ‘It is clear that a cunningly arranged distribution of edible items to one player during the game, emanating from one delegation or the other, could convey a kind of code message’.
It was meant to be a satirical, tongue-in-cheek reaction to ridiculous demands by the Soviet delegation. But the joke was not greatly appreciated by the jury: Karpov was only allowed to receive one meal per game, at a fixed time, with a pre-game notification whether it would be a violet-coloured diary product.
These games brought much more hilarious incidents. We will have a look at aforementioned murderers, as well as other peculiar circumstances in the Part II of this article. And maybe we will finally touch the subject of chess. :)
This post is also available in: Slovak