On Amnesia & the Human Condition


I'm happy that my last blog post was so well received; however, I must admit that I do feel a bit guilty not tying it more into chess (especially as this is a chess site!). Therefore, this next article will be a lot closer to the Royal Game that we know & love:

Do you know what one of the silliest expressions in the universe is? Well, I do. "People don't remember what you said, although they remember how you made them feel." HOW could you not remember what somebody has told you? But seriously, I'd like to disprove this cliched saying with a few examples from our game of chess.

Some you you may know the famous mantra that Mikhail "Misha" Tal (not Osipov! ) told Garry Kimovich Kasparov when Garry asked his mentor about how to approach a position where he had a sacrifice but he wasn't sure if it would like. As you may know (or if not, let me elaborate), Misha's famous reply was: "First you sacrifice, then you think later!" And I think that this maxim excellently shows the falsity of the first one. It's NOT how Misha made Garry feel that Garry remembers, etched into his brain like a tattoo; rather, it's the words in themselves too that arguably made an even bigger impression on the 13th World Champion, because it was really the words which Garry Kimovich took to heart, irrespective of how Misha may have made him feel (we can only imagine how he may have felt by trying to put ourselves in his shoes -- or, if somebody were to meet Garry one day, maybe he or she could ask him about it? )

But seriously, I think or feel that in "one fell swoop" so to speak, with the one standalone example of heroic instruction on the part of the Magician from Riga, the maxim that we don't remember what people have said to us is disproved. Sure, our memories aren't perfect -- that's what makes us human & we should embrace this facet of our minds & therefore of our lives in which our minds operate, but generally, as a rule, we DON'T or NEVER forget what people have said, and if anyone tells you differently, then please, take that person as a silly one!

As always, though, I like to leave my friendly readers with one final thought, and speaking of being silly, here is the ultimate "reversal" of the "Garry Maxim" (as I will heretoforth call it), when it is not only the human being who both remembers what was said as well as what was felt, but also the machine who has the best of both worlds so to speak:

So (and shout out to our wonderful community member & content creater Agadmator!), I hope that next time somebody tells you, "I don't remember" what you said to me, think again!