Story Sent in by Terrie:
Todd and I both played chess, and so he asked me out to a place that had dinner, wine, and board games. We sat down to dinner and talked over chess. It was actually pretty fun.
Until Todd cheated. It began slowly. I noted that one of his pawns seemed to have moved up a space without me remembering it ever doing so during one of his turns. Suspicion isn't evidence, though, so I stayed quiet. He might've had opportunities to move his pieces when the waitress came by to refill our waters or check on us or any number of times. I didn't think that I had to keep my eyes on him constantly, but after a couple more phantom chess moves, I made it a point to watch him like a hawk.
Inkling became suspicion when at one point, he pointed over my shoulder and said, "Check that guy out."
I looked at where Todd was pointing, saw no one, and turned back around to find him engrossed in the board. "What guy?" I asked, "Where?"
Todd brushed me off. "Oh, some guy was just walking funny to the bathroom. Guess he was too quick."
Speaking of the bathroom, I had to use it. But since I was pretty sure that Todd was cheating, I took out my phone and snapped a photo of the board right before going.
"What was that for?" Todd asked, "Don't you trust me?"
I replied, "I do, but just in case there's an earthquake or something." With that, I made for the restroom.
When I returned, Todd said, "You don't have to check your phone. I didn't touch anything."
I checked my phone. At least a half dozen pieces had been moved, and I pointed it out to him, on my phone. He squinted at the photo, held it at arm's length, turned it upside-down, and such, but nothing really changed the fact that he had moved the pieces around in my absence.
I said, "So the game is forfeit to me," but Todd wasn't having that.
He said, "That photo could be from any chess game. I don't buy it."
I said, "But the table in the photo is clearly this table, and I can see your hands folded in your lap in the background."
"Those could be anyone's hands," he said, "The lighting's bad in here. I reject your forfeit."
I said, "No, you're the one who forfeited. By cheating. Todd, quit playing around. We both know you've been moving pieces around."
"Liar!" he spat, then pointed to the board and said, "Go ahead. Take a free turn. I can still beat you. Take two free turns! Five! Ten!"
"I'm done playing, Todd. I win by forfeit."
"No one wins!" he said, then scooped up all the pieces and tossed them into the nearby box.
"Actually, I won," I said, "If you cheat, the game is automatically forfeited to me."
"No one forfeits, no one wins," he said, "Game over."
"Actually, I won," I said again.
"No one wins. Let's get you another drink."
"I'm all set."
"No one wins."
Todd said, "No one wins. It's a draw. Good game," and he extended his hand to me.
I didn't shake it, but I did say, "Ready for the check?"
"Not until we shake on it."
"I'm not shaking on it being a draw, Todd. I won. You lost."
He shoved his hand closer to me, as if I didn't see it. He shook it up and down. "It's a draw, let's shake," he said again.
I didn't want to be there anymore, so I said, "Take your hand back or I'm leaving right now."
He took his hand back but said, "At least agree that it's a draw, then."
"No. I won."
"No one wins. Agree it's a draw."
I could've maybe easily prevented things from escalating, but my father taught me not to back down when you know you're right, and although this was a stupid thing to not back down about, I really wanted to stick to my guns.
"No, Todd. It's not a draw. You cheated. I win."
"No one wins. There was no checkmate."
"Doesn't matter. There was cheating. The game is forfeited to me."
"Chess sucks. And you suck, too. Why do you have to suck the pleasure out of this evening with your lies?"
That did it. I stood up, said, "I don't have pleasurable evenings with cheaters," and left him with the tab. You can moan and groan all you want about the game and how I caught you in the act, but if you insult me, then you get what's coming to you. I left that place and never looked back.
Story Sent in by Terrie: