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Off-Board Shenanigans
Compiled by Nasruddin Hodja

Here are many amusing and not-so amusing off-board incidents that happened during these games. The fun doesn't just occur on the chessboard itself. Note that a few of the more famous incidents either have no recorded game (e.g, Blackburne throwing Steinitz out the window, or Nimzowitsch haranguing a Nazi officer), or did not occur during a chess game (e.g, the Aronian - Gormally fracas).

"Place the board so that the sun is in your opponent's eyes."
Ruy Lopez vs G da Cutri, 1560 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 12 moves, 1-0

"Saw it. Went home." Von Bardeleben leaves without resigning.
Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895 
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 25 moves, 1-0

Burn fails to light his pipe against Marshall.
Marshall vs Burn, 1900  
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 18 moves, 1-0

Marco gives Marshall a hangover before the game...
G Marco vs Marshall, 1903 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 23 moves, 1-0

Marshall gets showered with gold coins.
S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 23 moves, 0-1

Alekhine throwing his king...
Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1922 
(D80) Grunfeld, 55 moves, 0-1

The Immortal "WHY MUST I LOSE TO THIS IDIOT?!!" Game.
Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1925 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 50 moves, 1-0

Kmoch's hilarious parody of Nimzo.
Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927  
(C00) French Defense, 24 moves, 1-0

The wife and mistress in the same playing hall. Poor Don Jose.
Saemisch vs Capablanca, 1929 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 62 moves, 1-0

There's nothing like a good cigar...(thanks, suenteus)
Marshall vs Nimzowitsch, 1930 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 25 moves, 1-0

Maroczy challenges Nimzo to a duel (and not on the chessboard).
Nimzowitsch vs Maroczy, 1931 
(A04) Reti Opening, 48 moves, 1-0

The Ugly Alekhine: "I taught the old Jew a lesson".
Alekhine vs Lasker, 1934 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 26 moves, 1-0

Drunk as a Skunk I.
Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935 
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 41 moves, 1-0

Capa's birthday present. Alekhine walks out of the party...
Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1938 
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 35 moves, 1-0

Capablanca no-shows for his (last) scheduled game with Alekhine
Alekhine vs A Lopez Arce, 1939 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 25 moves, 1-0

The "Ladies' Man" gets distracted by female onlookers.
Capablanca vs Najdorf, 1939 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Drunk as a Skunk II.
Alekhine vs E Gomez, 1941 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 36 moves, 0-1

Infamous Arbiter L. Walter Stephens forfeits the wrong player.
Reshevsky vs Denker, 1942 
(E26) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 45 moves, 1-0

Don't tempt fate! Fine bets Najdorf $200 on a drawn endgame.
Fine vs Najdorf, 1949 
(C90) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 71 moves, 0-1

Bronstein daydreams about the opening...and loses the ending.
Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951 
(B63) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 57 moves, 0-1

Benko wears shades to shield himself from Tal's glare.
Tal vs Benko, 1959 
(B27) Sicilian, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Post-adjournment, Bot shows up without coffee, and swindles Tal
Tal vs Botvinnik, 1961 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 121 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres makes Benko lose on time. But revenge is sweet...
Keres vs Benko, 1962 
(B32) Sicilian, 38 moves, 1-0

Fischer falls asleep. Reshevsky, to his sorrow, wakes him up.
Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1963 
(A33) English, Symmetrical, 47 moves, 0-1

Fischer shows up late, blitzes Reshevsky, who leaves in a huff.
Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1967 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 46 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik: "Who's this punk on our team?"
Smyslov vs Gufeld, 1967 
(A15) English, 35 moves, 0-1

The kibitzing Mrs. Petrosian intervenes against Fischer.
Fischer vs V Kovacevic, 1970 
(C15) French, Winawer, 30 moves, 0-1

Power's out, stage is dark. Bobby's clock is kept running...
Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971 
(B44) Sicilian, 40 moves, 1-0

Fischer's tantrum leaves him 0 and 2. Was he faking?
Fischer vs Spassky, 1972 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 0 moves, 0-1

Korchnoi to arbiter: "Can I castle if my rook is attacked?"
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 19 moves, 1-0

Korchnoi attacked by hypnotist.
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 28 moves, 1-0

Korchnoi threatens hypnotist with bodily injury.
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978 
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 39 moves, 0-1

Purdy, to the last full measure...
C Purdy vs I Parsonage, 1979 
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 33 moves,

The Hungarian Hun brawls with the Rumbler from the Bronx.
Adorjan vs Fedorowicz, 1981 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 33 moves, 1-0

Yaz almost socks Garry on the jaw.
Kasparov vs Seirawan, 1988 
(D21) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 38 moves, 1-0

Kasparov accidentally underpromotes...well, not quite.
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993 
(E86) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6, 27 moves, 0-1

Death threats from Kamsky Sr. are tough on one's chess...
Kamsky vs Short, 1994 
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 26 moves, 1-0

Garry subsequently accused the programmers of cheating.
Deep Blue vs Kasparov, 1997 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 19 moves, 1-0

Pono forfeits after his cell phone goes off...
E Agrest vs Ponomariov, 2003 
(A15) English, 28 moves, 1-0

The Great Toilet Tantrum.
Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 0 moves, 0-1

A New Opening: Handshake Gambit Declined.
Short vs I Cheparinov, 2008 
(B20) Sicilian, 1 moves, 1-0

And a dramatic sequel the following day.
Short vs I Cheparinov, 2008 
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 72 moves, 1-0

42 games

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