disturbing an opponent during a game


coffeehousing = das Ablenken eines Gegners durch Plauderei



“Also unlike in bridge, clear-cut cheating (ignoring COFFEEHOUSING and minor underhand tactics) is a completely new and recent phenomenon in chess and it is non-existent in the highest echelon.”

Krishna Chakravartula — Bridgewinners (27th September 2022)

COFFEEHOUSING is the act of distracting an opponent by talking incessantly. Usually used in games such as Bridge and Scrabble, COFFEEHOUSING can prove quite distracting to a novice player.”

Janul De Silva — The Sunday Times (31st July 2016)

Did you

uncountable noun

- the act of distracting an opponent by chattering

- unethical behaviour at the table during bridge or another game



“Coffeehousing” is a mid-19th century phrase derived from the gossip or chatter in a coffeehouse. Originally used among the fox-hunting fraternity.

This phrase can apply to any competitive situation where one side seeks to gain advantage by disrupting the focus or concentration of an opponent (e.g. chess, bridge, poker, scrabble, tennis, squash, martial arts, etc.).


The coffee plant is a shrub that grows in tropical climates in parts of Africa, Asia, South America and North America. It produces an edible berry-like fruit known as a coffee cherry, which typically contains two coffee beans.

Coffee beans are green when they are picked and have a smooth texture, with a grassy, earthy aroma that is reminiscent of unroasted nuts or grains. After roasting, coffee beans become darker and softer. The aroma and flavour of the beans becomes more complex and intense, with notes of chocolate, caramel and smoke.

The exact origin of coffee is a mystery, but historians believe it began in Ethiopia around the 15th century. According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi noticed his goats were particularly energetic after eating a certain berry. Upon tasting the berry himself, he found that he too felt more awake and alert.

Word of Kaldi’s discovery spread quickly, and soon, monks in the area were brewing a beverage made from the berries. They found that the drink helped keep them awake during long hours of prayer.

From Ethiopia, coffee spread to other parts of Africa and eventually to the Middle East. By the 17th century, coffee had become a popular beverage all over the world.

Today, Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee company, with more than 30,000 stores in over 75 countries.


aggravating, agitating, annoying, badgering, baiting, blathering, bothering, browbeating, COFFEEHOUSING, confusing, deflecting, discombobulating, disrupting, distracting, disturbing, diverting, fidgeting, fussing, goading, hassling, heckling, hectoring, hindering, interfering, intruding, irritating, needling, nettling, pestering, prattling, quibbling, ribbing, riling, sniping, taunting, vexing, yammering

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“During professional chess matches, any form of conversation with an opponent would likely be interpreted as COFFEEHOUSING."

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