"Oh, you an expert?!"
February 17, 2016 11:25 AM   Subscribe

 
This is great. People are great (even when they cheat).
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:37 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


how does a chess hustler not know something's up when there are three or four cameras filming?
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 11:44 AM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wow, that cheat move was pretty fast and slick.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:44 AM on February 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


That hustler was sharp: "you don' even look at de boar'!"

And that told him all he needed to know.
posted by jamjam at 11:45 AM on February 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


Wow, I haven't played (or watched) in a long time, but even I immediately saw his brazen switcheroo with dude's knight. Not terribly impressive as a cheater, if you ask me.
posted by heyho at 11:46 AM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yay! He wasn't much of a trash-talker, though.

Still, this was fun.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:47 AM on February 17, 2016


I don't watch a lot of chess but that was delightful. I love watching both of their minds working so quickly. He might be a cheater, but that hustler is also a hell of a chess player.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:49 AM on February 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


What's he saying there at the end? Court? Caught?
posted by circular at 11:52 AM on February 17, 2016


Based on the hand gestures, I think he was saying "cut!", as in "stop filming!" I imagine he wasn't too keen on having his loss filmed for posterity.
posted by jedicus at 11:54 AM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think he's saying "Cut," as in stop filming.

I wonder if the two little chess shops south of the park are still around.
posted by exogenous at 11:54 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


He is saying "Cut, cut" to the cameras. He knows he was had. Loved that.
posted by AugustWest at 11:55 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yasser Seirawan used to do this when he was a teenager and would come to NYC. A rube from out of town....yeah.

I've seen the late IM Emory Tate just destroying the street chess hustler guys who come to hang around the World Open.....it was glorious, he was sacrificing like Rooks on every move. He was quite formidable indeed at the talking part, too.

Now the man with a plan was the backgammon hustler, I think his name was Ralph, who would come to sleep in his car for a few hours a night and otherwise hustle games in the World Open skittles room. That was years ago, when it was open 24 hours during the tournament. Who has giant egos and figures they win at Backgammon, which they consider to be a simple game beneath their notice? Half-drunk amateur chess tournament players.
posted by thelonius at 11:59 AM on February 17, 2016 [19 favorites]


"Mate in 23.” Hahahaha. YES I OWN THIS GAME SO BADLY I CAN CALL IT THAT FAR OUT
posted by egypturnash at 11:59 AM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Daaaaaang! So satisfying to watch a grifter grifted!
posted by Bob Regular at 12:14 PM on February 17, 2016


"What happens if I get in your house? I dunno, you're in some trouble now!"

I grew up around the corner from there. I dunno what it's like now, but it wasn't hustlers back then, or at least not all hustlers. A lot of slow, ponderous, high-level chess was played, often with the same two players day in and day out.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:16 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


It was annoying that it was filmed in a way that made it impossible to follow the game.
posted by andoatnp at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was interested in this link and then you had to go and mention Tim Ferriss...
posted by zachlipton at 12:24 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Magnus Carlsen doing something similar. (With Liv Tyler for some reason)
posted by starman at 12:29 PM on February 17, 2016


Wow, that cheat move was pretty fast and slick.

The part that I found interesting was that he preps his opponent for it by constantly fiddling with the pieces on the board, including his opponent's (illegally). He gets you used to seeing his hands slightly adjust pieces, knock them out of position and stick them back, so that by the time he makes the cheat move it looks like just a bit more fiddliness.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:38 PM on February 17, 2016 [15 favorites]


I liked that the hustler seemed to immediately know the grandmaster's name, if not his face.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:41 PM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Does the hustler very quietly say, "This is an honor," when he stands up while shaking Ashley's hand, just before he goes back to, "Cut, cut!", and just after someone else asked, "Are you rated?"?
posted by clawsoon at 12:50 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


I loved watching this, and I'm not even a player. Thanks!
posted by blurker at 12:52 PM on February 17, 2016


1. b4 e5 2. a3 Nf6 3. Bb2 d6 4. d3 Be7 5. Nd2 O-O 6. Rb1 a5 7. Ngf3 axb4 8. axb4 Nc6 9. c3 Re8 10. e4 Bg4 11. Be2 Bf8 12. O-O d5 13. h3 Bh5 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Nh2 Bxe2 16. Qxe2 Nf4 17. Qf3 Qxd3 18. Qxd3 Nxd3 19. Nhf3 Ra2 20. Bc1 e4 21. Nd4 Nxd4 22. cxd4 Nxc1 23. Rbxc1 Rxd2 24. Rxc7 Rxd4 25. Rxb7 Rxb4 26. Rxb4 Bxb4 27. Rb1 Bc5 28. Rc1 Re5 29. Kf1 f5 30. Ke2 g5 31. g3 Kf7 32. Rb1 Re7 33. Rb5 Rc7 34. Kf1 Ke6 35. Ke2 Kd5 36. Rb1 Ra7 37. Rd1+ Bd4 38. Kf1 Ra2 39. f4 exf3e.p. 40. Rxd4+ Kxd4

From down in the youtube comments... I've not checked it!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:54 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can someone identify the hustler's accent?
posted by Auden at 12:55 PM on February 17, 2016


I liked that the hustler seemed to immediately know the grandmaster's name, if not his face.

I don't know if the hustler recognized him, but most titled chess players know who Maurice Ashley is. He's a huge name in the chess world. He commentates the big matches and has done a lot to popularize the game.

Here's the game in lichess.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 1:04 PM on February 17, 2016 [15 favorites]


From down in the youtube comments... I've not checked it!
For some reason, I did not check the comments...
I charted it out myself and that is what I saw. (Except it left out 22. c3x 2 knights)
posted by MtDewd at 1:09 PM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oooh lichess is cool.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2016


I went through it with Chess Assistant. They were even until 14.ed, and 15.Nh2 loses a pawn. 19.Nhf3 loses another, and then a big slide on down.
Most interesting move not played- 28... e3, forcing White to take the bishop.
That [unnamed player] is pretty good, though, even without taking two knights with one move.
posted by MtDewd at 1:31 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


23 moves ahead -- geesh... I have a hard time fitting tetris pieces together. :-)
posted by smidgen at 1:58 PM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


I grew up around the corner from there. I dunno what it's like now, but it wasn't hustlers back then, or at least not all hustlers.

I don't think the hustlers make a majority of their income from their chess hustling.
posted by praemunire at 2:01 PM on February 17, 2016


15.Nh2 loses a pawn

LiChess also says this is the first mistake, and that White must play 15. g3, which keeps the Knight out of f4. And that was the end of the game, the guy falls off a cliff on LiChess' eval graph after that Knight lands there.

These guys make chess look so simple. Look, I have a good Knight and invasion squares and you don't really have any play: the game is just dead won.
posted by thelonius at 2:03 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


how does a chess hustler not know something's up when there are three or four cameras filming?

I suspect they probably told him it was a documentary or story some such about chess and how it gets played out in the street, as opposed to the image of chess of two big brains sitting down and playing a ponderous, thoughtful game. Or they flattered the heck out of him, told him they had heard about how good his game was, and wanted him in their film that they were making. Sometimes you can hustle the hustler by playing to his ego.

The speed of their play was pretty amazing for me, but I am a pretty lousy chess player.
posted by nubs at 2:15 PM on February 17, 2016


exogenous: "I think he's saying "Cut," as in stop filming.

I wonder if the two little chess shops south of the park are still around.
"

I hope so. I spent way too much time losing games in both. Enjoying every minute. Coffee, a cookie or two. And a sound thrashing. Lovely time.
posted by Splunge at 2:19 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's something especially sweet about a hustler getting outplayed. It's like Instant Karma: Schadenfreude Edition. As I was assembling the FPP I was reminded of this scene in The Color of Money between Forest Whitaker and Paul Newman: "Are you a hustler, Amos? Are you hustling me?" I didn't want to just wedge this random pool scene into a chess FPP (and I wasn't prepared to build out a complete FPP on hustlers being outplayed by more skilled marks), so this is Scorsese's fictional take on the same idea.
posted by mosk at 2:42 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is great, both the chess and the cheating. And yeah, to my not-very-sharp chess eye it looks like "Wilson" is a pretty good player to hang in as well as he did.

Can someone identify the hustler's accent?

Haitian would be my first guess, anyhow

posted by RogerB at 2:51 PM on February 17, 2016


Reading some of the history of world chess champions, I realized how much it was a rich man's game, at least up until the Soviet Union put the full weight of the empire behind building champions. Champions would refuse to play unless their opponent was able to find a wealthy businessman willing to put up a big pot of money.

And even now, what a chess champion needs is a lot of time to do nothing but chess. Makes me wonder if some of those hustlers could've been grandmasters if they had had childhoods with that freedom and support and access to chess tutors.
posted by clawsoon at 3:09 PM on February 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


he was sacrificing like Rooks on every move.
So... interesting opening. Short game.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:18 PM on February 17, 2016


i think if i could think 23 moves ahead, i would, i don't know, invent something really cool instead of typing dumbass comments on the internet
posted by angrycat at 5:18 PM on February 17, 2016


That was really fun!
posted by OmieWise at 5:21 PM on February 17, 2016


"Mate in 23" was a joke; he just meant "Eventual checkmate is inevitable." You're just up a piece, it's not the kind of position you calculate out to mate.

It was nice to see Ashley actually showing his strength. He's often a color commentator on live chess broadcasts, but on those he usually just goes through computer variations and tries to make the game sound as exciting as possible (which usually just makes me cringe). It's easy to forget that he's actually a grandmaster.
posted by dfan at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


wonder if the two little chess shops south of the park are still around.

Village Chess Shop is still open. Not sure about the other one.
posted by praemunire at 7:15 PM on February 17, 2016


That was impressive, on all counts.
The Magnus Carlsson link was a little more impressive because one of the guys he plays against has a pet squirrel.
A pet squirrel.

(Also - I saw Color of Money when it came out but not since. And damn if Forrest Whitaker isn't fucking exceptional. I mean, I know he's exceptional but watching that - the question at the end? Damn.)
posted by From Bklyn at 1:47 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wolfdog, the weird little line named after Tate does require a certain indifference to Rooks.
posted by thelonius at 3:09 AM on February 18, 2016


My brain feels puny.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:05 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hustling at chess is relatively easy. First learn a few few strong opening combinations and the setups for the classic traps and early mates. Then develop your patter to distract and get your opponent off balance mentally. These first two steps will let you beat 90% of the people you play. Finally learn some simple slight of hand to true up when you fall behind against a better player.
posted by humanfont at 8:25 AM on February 18, 2016


Hustling at chess is relatively easy.
So have you tried it?
posted by thelonius at 11:37 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


My favorite part of this is that the hustler knows his name, too. He's "famous," but his fame is, apparently, entirely textual.

(Really curious about Liv Tyler in that Carlsen vid above. How random.)
posted by uberchet at 2:46 PM on February 18, 2016


Village Chess Shop is still open. Not sure about the other one.

Thanks. Looks like they've moved over to 82 W 3rd St into a space with Zinc Bar.

Chess Forum looks like it's still kicking on Thompson St. (Google street view)
posted by exogenous at 3:45 PM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


wonder if the two little chess shops south of the park are still around.

I bought a cute little stanton chess set in carved ivory when I was in my late teens at one of those stores. If I recall, wasn't one of them owned by a Grandmaster, possibly named Capablanca? (I'm not going to look it up---more curious to know if someone else here remembers better than I.)
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 7:52 PM on February 18, 2016


(Really curious about Liv Tyler in that Carlsen vid above. How random.)
A few years back they were modeling for the same clothing company.
posted by dfan at 6:43 AM on February 19, 2016


« Older Sweeeeeeeeet emooooootioooootionnn   |   E-Commerce: Convenience Built on a Mountain of... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments