Why I Play Chess
I spend a lot of time these days either on the road playing or when not playing, in the recording studio. While most people think it a charmed life, since I get to do want I want with my day, they assume there is no stress involved. There is. When you are in a recording studio where time is money and there's a record company person wanting the project done quickly, you can feel a bit of pressure to get the guitar part right the first time. I play chess for a number of reasons, one of them being to reduce stress.
I can get lost within the world of chess and not surface for days. I can ignore my phone and my life, and relax within the game itself. One of the beautiful thigs about chess is that it is a constant learning process, a lot like playing guitar. When I loose a game, I learn a lesson or two. I gain from my game loses. This doesn't happen with my guitar playing. Play bad and you don't work, period.
There are also a huge number of variations within the game that allow it to never become boring. Here again, there are similarities between chess and guitar playing.
However, there is one thing I cannot stand; people who have such a competitive nature that winning the game must be otained at any cost. The game is supposed to be fun, you're supposed to enjoy yourself. The two people I play with face to face are both masters. While I never win a game against either of them, I get better and I learn a great deal. That's what the game is to me, Chess affords you the opportunity to constantly grow and improve your game.
I really don't understand people who cheat at chess. It really serves no purpose since you'll eventually be caught. Why cheat when you can simply practice and get better. I'd love to be a great chess player or have everyone think I was, but I'm not. I'm an average player and that's just fine by me. It gives me room to grow and get better. I don't need my ego stroked so I don't have to be the best at anything.
So at the end of the day, chess means the world to me. When I struggled with cancer, the game saved my life. When I need to relax, the board is always close by. Chess means everything to me!