Strange world we live in

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STRANGE WORLD WE LIVE IN - From the Rio Cuarto Daily News 19/4/1990

"I assumed he'd gone for a drink; I played 1...e6 after 1.e4 and he just walked out of the hall" said Pablo Ibarra to our reporter at the forth annual Intra-Cuarto schools chess championship.

Pablo, age twelve, and representing Cordoba secondary school for the first time, had been matched against Ramon Subirachs, thirteen, of Cuarto district school. He informed match officials of his concerns. Tournament controller Jorges Buteler told our reporter:

"I was just about to start a quick search of the building and inform Ramons team captain of his disappearance, when he burst into the hall waving and screaming obscenities, claiming that the French defense was an evil opening and demanding the move 1...e6 be taken back".

"When I told him that this would be totally against tournament rules - in fact totally against the rules of chess - he burst into tears and running over to where Pablo was seated, he pulled out a gun that he had hidden under his coat; he actually threatened to shoot Pablo!"

Ramon allowed match officials to clear the hall of players and after police were called in, special negotiators and members of the Cuarto school team managed to secure the gun with a promise that the French defence would not be played against him in his remaining games.

Ramon's team captain, mathematics teacher Jose Borges told us later, "To be honest, it is not really a suprise to me that something like this has happened, he has shown negative reactions to e6 before. He has refused to play as white in many of our club games all year, and in a tournament a few months ago he offered a draw and then resigned after his opponent played the French. He is not in any of my maths classes, but it is fair to say that everyone in the school has heard of Ramon". . . . .

"I don't know if I'll be playing in next years tournament" said (thankfully unharmed) Pablo Ibarra when we spoke to him after the event, "I've only been playing a short time, I tend to be nervous and my father had hoped that chess would be a calming influence".

(Translation by gartman of ICC)


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