Adam Dodson: King's Corner Part III: Absurd moments in Chess history and a Fiddle Fiasco

Oct. 15—In this edition of King's Corner, we take a closer look at a few absurd chess instances that still ring throughout history. As is true with football, golf, politics, or whatever the interest may be, absurdity is inevitable, as real life proves to be stranger than fiction.

Furthermore, I have been tricked, bamboozled, hoodwinked, and flat-out lied to. I am nothing more than a fiddlin' fool. More on that later.

Absurd moments of Chess history

Shades insideThe Cold War brought plenty memorable happenings in the history of Chess. Two rivals, America and the Soviet Union, often had their animosity taken to the chess board, with famous matches yielding from the bitter enemies.

This was the case for Soviet golden boy Anatoly Karpov and Soviet defector Viktor Korchnoi. The two had become rivals throughout the political climate of the 1970s, with Korchnoi devoutly outspoken against the Soviets.

However, an arms race between two superpowers swiftly turned into a staring competition between two great minds of Chess at the World Chess Championship in 1978.

Karpov was known for his mind-bending, soul-cutting stare that would get into the heads of his opponents. To counter this, Korchnoi wore sunglasses, which Karpov said directed light into his eyes, redirecting his piercing stare elsewhere.

While Karpov would win the game and retain the title, all the while asking for Korchnoi to be checked for cheating devices, hats off to Korchnoi for being on celebrity status enough to rock the shades inside.

Computers take over the worldIn 1997, it happened for the first time. Computers had finally taken over the world. It did not happen in an apocalyptic or dystopian style as predicted by conspiracy theorists, but rather on a Chess board.

The ultimate strategy game of Chess has always been dominated by incredibly talented and creative human beings forcing their will and implementing their strategy to beat whoever decided to play them.

Then, in 1997, an IBM computer defeated World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. The engineers for IBM had produced "Deep Blue," a computer capable of analyzing 200 million Chess moves per second.

This was enough to finally defeated Kasparov in a 6-game series, 3.5 to 2.5. According to, the Chess engines that exist today would easily defeat Deep Blue.

Magnus Carlsen's run of dominanceCurrent greatest of all time Chess player, Magnus Carlsen, is in the middle of a run of dominance that may never be surpassed. He became a Chess grandmaster at age 13, has been a World Chess Champion since he was a teenager, and is still only 31 years old.

If he does not decide to hang up the gloves like Bobby Fischer, then Carlsen could go on a run that would not only be unprecedented, but close to impossible to overpass, and would have records and stats that are truly absurd.

No wonder people try to cheat against him. There is another good article online pointing out that if Carlsen was capable or morally onerous enough to cheat just a single time in a Chess game, he would actually be impossible to defeat.

What the Fiddle?I am the star of a fraudulent fiddle fiasco, from which there is no return.

Last Saturday, like many residents of Limestone County, I made my way to the Fiddlers Convention at Athens State University.

However, unlike the residents of Limestone County, I left a little disappointed, due to a situation of my own creation.

I was not able to find my beloved chess sets and chess pieces I was looking for. The fool I am did not double check my sources to ensure they would be there, as they have in years' past.

The irony of a journalist not double-checking his sources to see if the Chess sets he wished to purchase would be at the Fiddler's Convention is not lost on me.

However, that is exactly what happened.

U2's "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" blasts into my eardrums.

While I will recover from the convention conundrum, I will also state Fiddler's Convention was a great time.

Now, the search begins for local sources of Chess pieces and Chess sets.

5 more tips for beginnersUnderstand the importance of dark squares and light squares. Lining up pawns and pieces on same-colored squares can be a huge defense and offense, if done right.

Understand the importance of attacking both the king-side and queen-side of the board, while also still controlling the middle. Weakening one or both sides goes a long way to winning the match.

During the middle-game, try to destabilize the opponent's center control of the board. This makes the end-game much easier.

Chess, not checkers: Trading pieces for each other may not always be the best move. Just because you have an opportunity to counter by taking a piece (or pawn) of equal value does not mean this is the best move on the board. Don't take a trade just because it feels right, but when it actually is the best move on the board.

Staying on schedule: A huge key to chess is not only making the right move, but also in the right order. Falling behind your "schedule" of moves can give your opponent a strategic and tactical advantage.

Next weekThe upcoming edition of King's Corner features the first interview of the column, as The News Courier sits down with Steven Bates, chess aficionado, chess collector and veteran to service of this country.

I will take him on a battle of wits I will assuredly lose. Stay tuned.

Adam Dodson is the sports writer for The News Courier and a chess enthusiast. His hope is this column inspires others to get interested in the ultimate strategy game, while also promoting local players.