Famous Author Insinuates Chess Players Are Uncompromising War Monger Sadists! (My Translation)

Oct 20, 2007, 9:15 PM |

I LOVE playing OTB chess at the club. Life doesn't get any better! But this guy below had some weird experience when he went to a club. David Shenk - Drama King. 

Here's an excerpt from an article that David Shenk wrote about chess. I think this guy is way off base when it comes to chess players. I don't know where he went to play (prison, back alley, bar) but I've never experienced anything like this:


"I was also repelled, frankly, by the forbidding atmosphere of unforgiving rules, insider jargon, and the general aggressiveness and unpleasantness that seemed to accompany even reasonably casual play. I recalled one of Bobby Fischer's declarations: "Chess is war over the board," he proclaimed. "The object is to crush the opponent's mind." Fischer was not alone in his lusty embrace of chess's brutality. The game is often as much about demolishing your opponent's will and self-esteem as it is about implementing a superior strategy. No blood is drawn (ordinarily), but the injury can be real. The historical link between top chess play and mental instability stands as yet another intriguing feature about the game and its power. "Here is nothing less," writes recovering chess master Alfred Kreymborg, "than a silent duel between two human engines using and abusing all the faculties of the mind. . . . It is warfare in the most mysterious jungles of the human character.""

Talk about over dramatizing the chess experience. This was supposed to be an article on staving off alzheimer's. Maybe this is just his way of explaining what it was like being an opponent in competition. But if that's the case you could classify any sport this way. If he can't take the heat he should stick to gin rummy or playing with dolls.