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What is chess?
In an esoteric way, have you ever pondered why you play?... what is this game for you? Dont describe to me HOW to play, but WHY you play.
I've recently starting playing GO, and the 'creativity' that one can get out this game really has made me ask this question to myself.
The game of chess has its beauty for me in that it is a tried and tested thematic game that has 'perfect information', there is no chance; you can see what your opponent sees etc. and it is games of this nature that attract me for one reason or another that I have yet to fathom out their attraction.
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.....chess has always held my wildest imagination. IMHO, it is the only contest that involves absolutely no chance or luck. To pit your brain vs. another in a game that is inherently fair to both and then to have to outhink your opponent to win is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. Every time you lose to an inferior opponent, valuable lessons are learned - and those lessons pay off in spades when you defeat that one monster opponent. Chess hones your critical thinking skills, and the lessons you learn at the board can serve you well in life. Planning, sacrificing, and a sense of fair play are all components of chess, and these concepts come into play in my life daily. I manage a restaurant for a living and deal with budgets (planning), working long hours (sacrificing), and managing over 80 people (BELIEVE me you better have a sense of fair play here!). The lessons I have learned from chess have made me a better manager in my professional life, and I would like to think a better person in my social life. Chess has been a big part of my life for over 25 years, and I will continue to play as long as there is breath in my lungs. I truly love this game.........
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Legendary chess champion Bobby Fischer once said "Chess is life"... Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy... Chess is as much a mystery as women...Chess is a method of, or perhaps, a set of guildlines for attempting to reach the truth at a progressively deeper level... This seeking brings us closer to understanding whatever we are dealing with... Through understanding, we can achieve peace of mind, knowing that we are doing all we can to get at the true meaning...
Simplicity is necessary to avoid getting confused with irrelevancies, which are everywhere... Selflessness is necessary in order to get a detached view, uncluttered by ego... So why is chess life?...
Following the principles of good sound chess play will help improve your game and your enjoyment of the game... It will also give you a progressively deeper understanding of the game, just as God gives you a progressively deeper understanding of life...
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The purpose of Chess is to defeat an opponent and crush his ego, so its mentality is the reverse of virtuous. But it may have value in diverting psychopathic desires that could issue in vice into relatively harmless channels --- someone plays Chess instead of becoming a serial killer. Of course, it is played by many people, such as myself, who have no desire to crush anyone's ego, but (like me) they tend to be unsuccessful at the game.
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What wonderful philosophies and..
and mine, perhaps not esoteric, but as an absolute beginner at chess, having only ever played with the horses when I was younger (to the dismay of brothers and a sister whom tried to get me to play seriously), is that I play chess to make me think in patterns and combinations, i.e. to think more laterally. My understanding of what Spurtus says is - respect, and even perhaps a yearning, for the "purity" or "exactness" of chess. I hope that, as Bro suggested, that chess helps me to sift the husks from the wheat in my life. I like the idea of simplification in everything. I have felt changes in me since starting to play chess, which I think is strengthening me, in the way Thomas said. Thanx for sharing your story Thomas.
As for Philaretus, I confess that I have actually felt quite stressed during the end games of some of my recent games where I have had to be competitive (i.e. go against the "grain" of being nice and co-operative) and I have yet to feel the urge to gloat over defeating the enemy. But I am sure, that over time, I will feel a greater satisfaction if I win more games.
Peace to all......Celine
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"I like the moment when I break a man's ego."
I would have liked to see Fischer play a computer --- a thing with no ego. I wonder how he would have coped?
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People like to play...
When my sister and i learned chess with our father, we did it just by playing again and again.
Who must do the kitchen job - lets play for it. You have lost? Revanche game! 1:1 after the revanche game? We have to play a decisive game. After the decision: oh it is to late to work at the kitchen but maybe we could play a last game before sleeping and do the kitchen tomorrow (the story could be prolonged by drawn games!) - and so on
chess is fun!
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for me chess is a lot of fun....
but it's also something that i can always improve at. i can work to become more consistent, patient, and things like that. i like the idea that i'm getting better all the time, and that i won't get much worse, though i accept that i'll forget things over time and not be in chess mode at all times.
chess is just always here and i can work at it if i want, and in the same way - if i don't want to, i don't have to.
it's also very nice that you can meet very interesting, fun, and funny people at chess clubs or tournaments. that would be like any other activity. it is nice to meet people who share your interests.
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why I play chess
I play cuz it's fun, life is inherently boring. I play cuz it's an artistic self-expression of intellectual skill. I play cuz chess is philosophical in the sense that it's a microcosm of the rules governing the game of life.
"To not exploit a mistake is a mistake."
"survival of the fittest"
"might makes right"
"practice makes perfect" etc.
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Ruthlessness & Individuality...
Are themes that I've noticed have come up a lot for me recently in chess. I have a bad habit of playing down to weaker opponents, or rising to the challenge of a higher-rated player.
I'm in the process of learning from chess how to be more independent of others and just be me.
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For me, chess is what the late GM Eduard Gufeld has described as an art, a science & also sport. It's an art because I can express a playing style that echoes my personality & desires. I am totally drawn to 'beautiful' moves' or 'crushing sacrifices/combination', that I asked myself how did ppl see that...?
Chess is science where commitment & dedication (sadly, I'm very lacking in this area) push us to do research & learning. We analyze our game for weaknesses and we hope that experience helps us to plan further next time...
As for sport, this is where two gladiators will battle it out. It is said that a pawn can only go forth, so in chess there is no turning back. What ppl would call as 'luck', I would describe it as resilient & a calculated determination to win (or, not to lose!)...
That is why my I liked my chess...
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Why do I play chess? Something to do :)
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There is a one in a million chance that if you ask someone if they think chess is a nerd sport that they would say no. But I take great offense to this because as I sit here watching startrek DS9 and writing a computer program I can't help but wonder howe many times they have actually played the game. Even my friends who have the great fortune of hearing me talk about chess all day don't play that often. I would not condemn other relatively irrelvant sports without having played them and I can tell you that if I had the abiliy to play them then I would not be a geek. So I assume that chess comes with the terrritory.
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it goes back to the beginning w/ what spurtus hinted @ w/ esotericism. mentally challenging activites aren't for the herd/masses/majority, esp. a game w/ an apothosis of being the pinnacle of intellectual recreation. chess, sci-fi programs, cyberculture, etc. is all inter-related & apart of pop culture of the modern age however cliche. athletic sports are exoteric and commonplace, so naturally individuals and conformists don't mesh well. IMO chess isn't meant for everyone and chess is better off that way.
I play chess cuz to me it's a way of life; it's my way of life vs. yours. the superior lifestyle will permit for a superior method of play and thus the greater individual will win. to me there's only 2 types of chess players- the kind the play for fun and the kind that don't. even though i consider it fun not playing for fun[:P]
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i hate chess
i am being forced to play chess everyday against my will by a terrorist cell. please send help.
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A Battle of Will
I play chess because chess is, in essence, a battle of wills. You're trying to implement your plan, your idea for checkmate, while your opponent is trying to implement his, and in between both of you are trying to sabotage each others plans.
Thats why I love chess, because it's one of the more pure forms of battle, because to domininate your opponent in chess, you must have a stronger will, not the body of an athelete or the mind of a savant.
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......seek professional help......quick.........rotfl:)
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By the time Fischer sat down to play the Chessbox, the programmers, organizers, commentators, cameramen, custodians, everyone at BigBim, and spectators with paid tickets would ALL have their Egos Crushed !! When the first AI gained consciousness and saw the game, ITS e-Ego would be Crushed! The Biographers would rejoice ...
so Chess Is : Chaos barely constrained. A lot of soundless fury signifying nothing. A game where if you call it a Sport, some people will hit you with a chair and say "that's sport!". A mathmatical conumdrum solved by John Penquite. A broad path to insanity. Obsession. A little joke of the gods upon humanity. Something to do for teens without a date. Instrument of comraderie. Art that gets 50 manhours put into a game with Rook and Piece Sac, that someone throws away during housecleaning, Fun (!?!). And once upon a time "MY GAME" , (a personal thing. Y'all were just borrowing it :) which endears it.
Somewhere it slipped away. So hope it found a good home. Take good care of it if You have it now. It does seem to live here at GK . . . }8-)
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Chess is my mania :)
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The book of why
I play chess for the beauty, the poetic: the poetic reveals itself in a well orchestrated chess combination, as much as it does when a wild trout hits a perfectly cast fly, or when a master such as Jorge Luis Borges puts words on paper.
I play chess because it links me in a positive way to the processes of globalization: chess curries more international favor than any similar pursuit. It may have been the “royal game” (and a suitable courtship ritual for princes and princesses) in Elizabethan England, but today it is a mental sport of conflict that brings people together all over the world.
I play chess because I'm relatively good at it; that is I play a little better than the vast majority of casual players, but I am almost incompetent when compared to those who truly understand the game. Chess, thus, offers me modest success alongside immense space for improvement.
(I plagiarized some of the above from www.angelfire.com/poetry/wulebgr/)
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Its like life!
I agree with the person above who mentioned that chess is life. You are born (opening), grow into an adolescent (develop your pieces), become a teenager (making plans for the middlegame), become a young adult (tactics in the middlegame) and start your career, grow into your career and mid-life (trading pieces for a favorable endgame), and eventually grow older (endgame) until checkmate (death)!
All kidding aside, I play chess for the competitiveness of the game. I am a very competitive person no matter what I am doing so playing chess offers me the chance to compete with my fellow chess comrades around the world. I enjoy the planning, strategy, tactics, everything that chess offers. Today is the first anniversary of when I started playing chess seriously. After one year of study, I can safely say that I have grown to appreciate chess far more than I ever did before.
Chess is life!