<We had made our trip to Las Vegas and now we were playing the last round in Lone Pine. At that time games were adjourned after forty moves and five hours of play and I had two hours to analyse my adjourned position against a Yugoslav grandmaster. There was a farewell party at the home of the rich inventor who was the sole sponsor of the tournament, but of course I went to my motel room first to look at my game. Fifteen minutes sufficed to see that it was a dead draw. If one of us would try to win, he would lose.
I went to the party at the inventor's home, which was quite impressive. Outside were huge radio aerials. It was said that the inventor wanted to have radio contact with the whole world, night and day, to play his radio chess games. Armed guards were patrolling the lawns and when you had entered the house you understood why. A quick look at the gallery of paintings provided a Frans Hals, a Hieronymus Bosch and a small Rembrandt. It was sheer irresponsibility to let chessplayers loose here, a squalid tribe that might carelessly extinguish their cigarette butts on old masterpieces.
I didn't know it at the time, but this would be the last chess party at the inventor's home. Next year he would still pay for the tournament, but there would be no party, presumably because the year before drunken Icelanders had done gymnastics hanging on the splendid chandeliers in the toilet room and destroyed them.
Of course the Yugoslavs had also found out that my adjourned position was a dead draw. My opponent was not present, but one of his compatriots came to me smiling and said: “It is better to share the money, then to share the point.”
It was obvious what he meant. If one of us should win, whoever it was, our total prize money would be much higher than in case of a draw. A draw or a loss wouldn't make much difference financially, but a win would secure a good prize.
My opponent was poorer than I and he had a sick old mother who he had to
provide with medicines that were not available in Yugoslavia.
Now, come on, if we would have to make a deal with every poor chessplayer who
has a sick mother, would this be the end?
On my way to the tournament hall I met him outside. He explained that it would be best if he would win the game, because at first sight it might seem that he had a tiny advantage. On the other hand, if I would prefer to win instead of losing, that would be fine too, though the division of the prize money would have to be a little different in that case. This stood to reason. Winner gets glory, loser gets money.
I said that I understood his point of view, but that our adjourned position was so obviously a draw that it would provoke a scandal if one of us would win. I offered a draw. “Then we will play,” he said.
We played and he tried to win and he lost, which he would have known from the start. “What a scandal” exclaimed a spectator who had followed our game and apparently understood that I could never have won it in a normal way.
I had shown the pride of the incorruptible, but my opponent had his pride too. He preferred an almost certain defeat, rather than grant me my honest draw. The incorruptible is insufferably arrogant, because in a world of professionals he behaves as a rich amateur, who doesn't really care about results.>