Chess: Enjoyment vs Competition

Dec 14, 2008, 6:11 PM |

All of us joined this site because we share a love for the game of chess.

Many of us participate in regular games, either on the site or at our local club. Many also join tournaments, either in person or on the site. And a few of us can attest to being part of a team, whether on the school or club level.

And a small percent of us are masters.

Yet, a question I always ask is: "Do you play for fun or to win?"

For example, I was playing with my team against an opposing group. I am first board; as such, everyone, whether they like it or not, looks up to me during our matches. Everyone else had lost, and I was the last one playing, so technically my game "didn't matter" for the match overall. As such, I made two crazy sacrifices and tore open the game's position; quite frankly, I made a mess of the position. In the end, I lost (though I did get my pieces back!). Everyone else on my team questioned my game: "Why did you do that?" "What was up with your game? You could have won if you played safe."

I gave a flat out answer: "I had a great time! It was fun!"

Perhaps you play to increase your rating; or maybe you just want to win. But please, next time you play, remember: chess is a fun game!