While many sports and games are invigorated by adding a few tasty beers, such as poker or ping pong, not all of them are so enhanced. Take chess, for example. It seems self-evident that clouding one’s mind with alcohol would take the the much-needed edge off your game. But I guess it’s not as obvious I might have supposed.
Reuters is reporting that French Grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev, the 58th highest ranked player in the world, showed up drunk earlier today to play a match at an international chess tournament in Kolkata, India. According to Reuters, eleven moves into the game, “he could hardly sit in his chair and soon fell asleep, resting his head on the table.”
India’s Praveen Kumar was awarded the win on technical grounds, as Tkachiev was “unable to complete his moves within the stipulated time of an hour and 30 minutes.” I guess it’s hard to play chess when you’re passed out asleep. Although reprimanded for his, uh, performance, he will be allowed to complete the tournament.
When I was in high school, our chess team actually lobbied successfully to have their game declared a sport, with an eye toward having cheerleaders at the matches. The chess cheerleaders never materialized, but it occurs to me that they might have done wonders to keep Tkachiev awake through his match. Out of curiosity, do spectators at high level chess tournaments drink beer while watching the chess matches?
Maybe that is what helps categorize something as a sport . . . if the those in the stands have the opportunity to drink beer or not? It surely isn’t that black and white, but allowing (good) beer certainly makes it a more enjoyable spectator sport/event!