It was early Sunday morning in the park. A refreshing breeze wafted from the foggy river as the sun rose above the horizon. Joe was setting up his chess board at his usual bench, hoping to engage someone in a friendly match.
Soon enough, another old-timer comes along and asks Joe if he wants to have a game.
Joe: Sure. What’s your name?
Old-timer: Call me Don. I should warn you, though. I’m the best chess player that’s ever been. The only way I can lose is if you cheat.
Joe: Well, I’m not sure how one can cheat in this game, but I can’t miss the opportunity to play the best that has ever been. What’s your rating?
Joe: Really?! I’ve never heard of a rating for a human player above 2900.
Don: The international chess community has conspired to ignore me because I make all other players look like amateurs.
Joe (shaking his head): White or black?
Don: I prefer white.
Joe: Have a good game.
Don: Pawn to king four.
Several passersby ask if they can watch the match. No problem.
It’s forty-five minutes later.
Joe: Knight takes bishop, Checkmate. Can’t believe I’ve beaten the best that’s ever been.
Don: You didn’t win.
Joe: Your king is under attack, with no square to move to where he would not be under attack. Game over. How can you say I didn’t win?
Don: You cheated.
Don: You must have made a couple of moves while I wasn’t looking.
Bystanders 1 and 2: Sir, we were watching the whole time, and we didn’t see him make any extra moves.
Don: You’re friends of his, aren’t you?
Bystanders 1 and 2: No, this is the first time we’ve visited this town.
Don: You took too long to move.
Joe: This was an informal game with no time limit for moves.
Don: I never agreed to that. You rigged the game.
Joe: Have you ever heard the words “sportsmanship” or “fair play”?
Don: I’ve heard of them. They’re words for losers.
Joe: Good grief! I didn’t know I was playing a nut case.
Don. You all heard that. I’m suing this guy for defamation. Joe, you old bag of bones, I’ll see you in court.
Bob Moores retired from Black & Decker/DeWalt in 1999 after 36 years. He was the Director of Cordless Product Development at the time. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University