Chess crimes: Shootings, Stabbings, Axe Murder…

Someone described chess as a game of war but a peaceful war where no human lives are at stake.

This could not be said for a game between two passionate chess players from Montenegro.

After an argument over a chess piece one tried to kill the other in November of 2019, reports news outlet Blic.rs.

Esko Erovic (56) went to prison after pulling a gun on his opponent Husein Smakic (70) and wounding him.

„Erovic and I sat in the village store and played chess, like we often did. When I was supposed to checkmate him, Erović accused me of stealing his rook. We started to argue, other people somehow separated us and we each went to our own side“, said Smakic, adding that Erovic tried to kill him the day later.

While Smakic was walking through the village, Erovic pulled out a gun and fired in his direction. Bullet hit Smakic in the arm.

Apparently, Erovic was still mad about the game he was suppose to lose.

This is just one in a long list of bloody conflicts caused by chess.

According to Granite Geek blog, in 1959 after losing a chess game, a Russian at a Soviet Antarctic base murdered a colleague with an axe. Following this, the Soviet authorities prohibited those based in Antarctica from playing chess.

Another bloddy murder over chess happened on January 6, 1979. Jack Nobles was killed in Nevada prison when a dispute arose over a chess game between him and Patrick Charles McKenna. After lockdown that day, Nobles and two other inmates were confined in a cell with McKenna. McKenna and Nobles argued about a chess game and later McKenna choked Nobles when Nobles was in bed.

Chess murders

In October 2009, Iowa City resident David Christian killed neighbor Michael Steward after the two got into a fight over a chess game. Christian was sentenced to ten years in prison as part of a plea bargain.

Tom O’Gorman of Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland was murdered by a Sicilian lodger in his home during a game of chess on January 12, 2014. Due to a dispute over a move, the Italian killed O’Gorman with a kitchen knife and dumbbell, allegedly cutting open his chest cavity and ingesting his lung. After the murder, the Sicilian confessed to the crime and was taken into custody.

Fortunately, these cases are rare and chess is mostly a peaceful game.

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