About thirty years ago your correspondent got into difficulties at the El Al airline security check with a ticking mechanical chess clock in his bag. The panic was over in just a few moments, as the man in charge was a chess player. In America, it seems some law security personnel are not as familiar with the game, as illustrated by a bomb scare last week.
Police in Mandeville, Louisiana evacuated residents and closed roads when an unidentified briefcase was left on the doorstep of a recently retired IRS agent. The bomb squad was called in and an X-ray taken, which according to a local police chief, appeared to be a “classic pipe bomb’’.
They don’t do things by halves in Louisiana. The police issued the following statement: “After thorough investigation, the suspicious case was determined to have contained a chess set. Preliminary X-ray images of the contents of the case gave investigators reason to remotely open the case with a water cannon, which was mounted to a robot. It was then, after further remote and physical inspection of the contents by a St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office bomb technician, that the case was determined to be harmless.’’
In this game from the Georgian championship, White’s passive play leads to Black detonating his position: