The Unyielding Rule

Rules are rules. Haven't we heard this before? Right from the childhood, there are many rules, and this has also formed the causes of our anguishes. Many a time, these rules have made it difficult to get what we wanted. Many a times, these rules were so absurd which made eventually made our lives less happy and more tedious. Recently, a new acquaintance tells me an incident where rules play an important role. Since the event was set in Paris, I was not sure if the punch was in the absurdity of rules or the French reverence for authority and rules. Regardless, it is an excellent tale to share.

The incident happened quite a lot of years back when my acquaintance was very young. At that time, he was in Paris taking part in a chess competition for the prize money. For every win, you earn money. Since my acquaintance was very young and inexperienced, he was looking for the prize money. On the fateful day, he was pitted against a Russian chess player. After a few moves into the game, my acquaintance was waiting for the next move when the opponent clutched his heart and fell down from the chair. Strange as it may sound, the Russian had succumbed to a heart attack.

After paramedics had taken away the body of Russian opponent, my acquaintance approached the authorities. Although shameful, my acquaintance admits he was more concerned about the prize money. Guess what the authorities said. According to the rules, my acquaintance will have to wait for a stipulated time for his opponent to make the next move. If his opponent fails to make a move in the stipulated time, my acquaintance will be judged the winner. So my acquaintance returned to his seat, whiled away the time till he was judged the winner and could walk away with the money. Now, isn't that a rule that is absurd?

Tags: Musings,Rules,Chess