Could this Really be Why People Enjoy Chess?

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A guy I knew long ago from Detroit, Michigan USA had a favorite quote about chess. Chess is a non-hostile way to vent hostile impulses. Pete was involved in the chess leagues there for young men who might become gang members with destructive tendencies otherwise. I was reminded of him after reading a column by GM Daniel Naroditsky titled How Magnus Does It in the United States Chess periodical.

The quote by Daniel that struck a chord was Carlsen prefers to torture his opponent first. Taken quite literally, this could mean one has an opportunity to humanely kill their adversary but has some sadistic predilection for administering gloating pain! Indeed, the young GM also uses terms like control and carve in his chessic commentary on a rewarding game between Hikaru Nakamura and the world champion.

Of course my equating sadism with the Royal Game is to some extent hyperbolic, but the the horrifying question here is how close are chess players to being labeled as intellectual sadists? I mean Naroditsky speaks of faking a countenance of being lost in the position and not knowing how to make progress; the point here apparently is to buoy the psychological state of your adversary before you crush his spirit with a ruthless tactical sequence! Not only do chess players believe in torture, they magnify it with a Yo-Yo effect!!!

Finally the game, played in London, England,  between the two chess icons had the the fascinating imbalance of two bishops with tattered weak pawns versus two horses with solid pawn structure as you can see in the IPhone 7 plus photograph below

BTW, whatever sum  the magazine Chess Life pays Mr. Naroditsky for his writing endeavors, his remuneration should be tripled for his fascinating insights into the the thought process of super strong chess players. He could perhaps up his income by being a better chess consultant than the guy on this detective show.

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5 comments on “Could this Really be Why People Enjoy Chess?Add yours →

  1. Sort of related to sadistic theme of this piece about making your opponent squirm is the question:

    When I was a kid it felt kind of odd to me that winning in chess is achieved by cornering the king, and not by taking him outright, like what you do to all the other pieces. I always wondered why that is?

    This interesting but not very circumspect question can be easily answered. If your monarch is truly cornered WITHOUT a move, then there is no next turn since players are required to move in alternating fashion.

    Simply put, capturing the king would be tantamount to making two consecutive moves which is forbidden by the rules. Thanks for question whoever you were.

  2. I bet law school professor Gretchen Sween who teaches appellate advocacy at The University of Texas School would have read this piece with interest given her predilection for the violence of a pickup football game including the badges of torn jeans and grass stains.

    Gretchen worked in theater circa 20 years as an actor, director, which makes her a bird that never flys with the flock. Most folks that love Shakespeare are this way

    1. Craig Cignarelli , wearing a pearl/diamond necklace and a buddy of parent murderer Erik Menendez, brags about thinking outside the box and being a good chess player. I know Erik gets plenty of time to play chess enjoying his prison schedule. Doubt either of the spoiled brats have a USCF rating above 1200.

  3. Daniel’s title of recent chess life column, Logical Illogicality, humorously gets the point across. Practical illogicality is a more clear indication of the erudite chess author’s intent. What do you expect of a guy, who prefaced his fascinating piece with the fact he was viewing Better Call Saul Season 1, Epsiode 3, other than phrases like Caissa’s Irascible spirit? I guess that bumpy turbulence over the Rock Mountains loosens you up some.

    Thank you GM Naroditsky for sharing the shocking position where black Knight seemed to support the advance of the passed e3 pawn, where White would appear to only draw.

    I plugged position into machine and it went through that beyond belief ziz-zag maneuver of Queen to separate the King from the Horse and WIN for the FIRST PLAYER!

    Damn good stuff…..you are the best content producer for a highly venerated chess periodical!

    1. Naroditsky had a glaring misuse of the term platitude in article titled Cliffhanger in the chess life magazine.

      The erroneous usage was “endgames are all tactics” platitude. Young Daniel most certainly meant a term like bromide or hackneyed in lieu of platitude. Perhaps he was enthralled with his 7th viewing of a particular breaking bad episode.

      His observation that even the most tepid endgames have at least one deep tactical sequence should etched somewhere in Caissia’s temple.

      He has conspicuous man crush on Magnus Carlsen uttering informationless phrases like “Magnus, being Magnus”

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