MR PENDLE: Pub quiz cheats spoil the fun for others

AS someone who used to play chess and still maintains a modicum of interest in the game, Mr Pendle was interested to read the other day that the teaching of chess is to be made compulsory in schools in Armenia.

Now while chess may be regarded almost as a national sport in that country, it has only a minority following here - and there was much debate as to whether the game should be made a compulsory subject in schools in this country.

And while there was some agreement there might be some advantages in children learning the game, the compulsory teaching of it might not be such a good idea.

Personally speaking, Mr Pendle thinks it would be a non-starter.

He managed to teach himself to play the game from basic books nearly 50 years ago - but he would not feel confident explaining the complexities of the finer points of the Sicilian Defence or Queen’s Gambit Declined opening moves to a class of less than half-interested six and seven-year-olds.

ONCE of a day, Mr Pendle used to enjoy taking part in pub quizzes.

Sometimes he won, more often than not his team would end up among the also-rans.

As the years have gone by, his quizzing has become a thing of the past.

Changes in watering holes, different friends with different tastes and pubs closing down have all led to the change in how he spends his evenings.

And if things are to be believed, how glad he is not to be taking part against teams of rogues, cheats and dunderheads using every trick in the book to try to win the top prize.

When Mr Pendle took part in pub quizzes, the main thing was to have an enjoyable evening. If he and his team managed to win, the prize - normally a gallon of beer in those days - came as a bonus.

But there was never a thought given to using a mobile phone to ring a friend for the answer to a question. For starters, in those days it was not easy to make and receive calls without incurring the wrath of every other team in the pub.

Now, as phones have become increasingly more information-loaded with Google access freely available, it is far easier to find the answer to a question which has everyone on the team stumped.

But surely anyone stooping so low is only kidding themselves that they are the shiniest button in the box - as well as spoiling the fun of genuine pub quizzers who play by the rules.