Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feeling Of Dread

I don't know why but the thought of playing in a competition fills me with dread sometimes.

I like the royal game but quite often, the competitive side of things weighs on my mind. I've seen chess players practically "lose" it in the heat of competition and I wonder to myself,"Do I want to behave like that?"

Chess also brings out a side of me that is not always pleasant. I find that in competition, I tend to be extremely harsh and hard on myself and that sometimes translates to the exhibition of anger, which is very unlike me, when I am not playing.

Chess sometimes, seems to me like a sadist game. When you get beaten, you want to keep coming back for more. And even if you do win, you hunger for more success.

This is most true in any other competitive sport. But for me chess is also something to pass time, something that I feel is frivolous beyond the 64 squares. A hobby.

So how does one reconcile to having fun to one where you put an intense amount of energy and effort to win?

My opponent tonight is Ian Dickson and I am playing Black. Part of me wants to defeat my opponent, the other part says,"Hold on, it's only a game."

Do I really want to treat it with the seriousness and intensity it requires to play at an optimum level? Decisions, decisions.


  1. The hardest thing about playing chess OTB is that it's 3-D, so try to play blindfold in your head a 2-D board.

    Yes, you want to win mostly because you will feel foolish later for casually throwing a game away. It's more bothering later because at the time, it's just socializing win or lose.

  2. Hi LinuxGuy,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. Anyway, I played out a draw against Ian Dickson in an opposite colour bishop endgame. :)

    My opponent at one point had an advantage but I knew the points were safe once I traded off the major pieces.

    Thank you.

  3. Tanc, congratulations on your draw! It takes a solid effort to gain a draw.

    If you really want to challenge yourself, try to figure out the best way for White to continue the attack from move 18 in this game:

    There are ways to win an exchange, or even two pieces for a rook, but the goal is to win a whole piece here. I choose the way that lead to nothing.

    I'll even give you a hint, since it is so hard. During the queen trade, the trick is to let Black capture White's queen first!

    Solving problems like this improves one's chess strength. ;-)

  4. Hi LinuxGuy,

    Thanks for the congrats!

    Wow. I could not see how to win a piece from Move 18 after staring at it for some 10 minutes. That is a great test position!


  5. hehe. Thanks, Tanc! Yes, it's one of those positions where it's easy to outdo yourself, it's like a mindjob. Anyone glancing at the position will tell you it's ridiculously winning, but the thing is to get it right, and not second-guess nor even guess. ;-)

    It would have been worth it for me to spend another 20 minutes even to find the piece win, since it's game-over after that.