By any means

Some people will go to great lengths to ensure they win, a recently reported case involving the Indian player Umakant Sharma (left) who had performed at a steady 1900 level for many years. Then suddenly his rating climbed to 2484, after a series of spectacular tournament successes.

A spot search revealed: he was using a Bluetooth device stitched into his cap to receive external computer assistance! The All India Chess Federation gave him a ten year ban at its Central Council meeting. Now that's what I call 'going to extremes' perhaps he needed the prize money to look after a sick relative? He'll probably spend the next decade 'fine tuning' his technique on the net.

There's the 'Stare at your opponent' technique.

Give them the steely eye, although it has to be said that this method can backfiresomewhat when they look up and see you staring at them like some kind of 'chess stalker' When this happens the advantage is switched to the 'stalkee' who has now made you look away!

The 'Eat a bag of crisps loudly' approach.

Nothing irritates quite like the incessant munching of crisps, 'Prawn cocktail' is probably the best flavour to use, as the fishy aroma adds to the effect. A few well placed crisps just overlapping the board should help too. On the same theme, sucking and cracking mints is also quite effective.


The 'Shin kick attack!' method.

Pretend to uncross your legs at every opportunity, while simultaneously kicking your opponents legs and feet, "go for the kneecaps!" Remember to apologise each time so as not to arouse suspicion. Obviously the size and 'physique' of your opponent is the deciding factor.

Fire off the 'Silent salvo'

This one is for the professional Machiavellian only, using the correct posture and breathing technique's, it is possible to take aim and 'crack one off' its like waiting for a 'windy' torpedo to hit its target! If you see a pained expression then its a HIT! Mission accomplished. Yet again this method can (backfire) so to speak! Depending on wind direction. However, if performed properly, its an 'all blame all scenario!'

The 'Play a really good game of chess' system.

"Huh" sorry folks, I temporarily lost the plot there! As if that system will bring us any success? We'd have to actually study and spend valuable thinking time... er... thinking.

And you all thought chess was a civilized game?