Chess Charm School

Dec 3, 2008, 12:59 PM |

I have recently been paying attention to the distinctly different personalities of chess players.  Of course you have the arrogant players.  Smart people have a tendency to be arrogant.  I'm one of those arrogant smart people to some degree.  Then there are those with false humility, always pretending they are worse than they are. Cool.  Lots of different types.  I enjoy the diversity.  I will say that nice people are more fun than the condescending ones, but that goes without saying. 

Digging deaper into the topic, I've been noticing that I'm afraid to type stuff into chat windows, or when I do, I do so very cautiously.  It seems to me that some people are easily annoyed by what's said in the chat window.  My father and I have been discussing this.  He doesn't really enjoy chatting, but an occassional message is ok.  He does not like it when someone comments on his moves.  I'm sure when he makes a mistake it drives him nuts when the opponent says, "HA! You blew it!  You lost your queen!" 

Personally, I enjoy chatting in the room.   Sometimes just getting to know the other person ... sometimes commenting on the game.  Never offensive, never taunting the other player, but perhaps a comment or two.  Maybe even a warning about what I plan to do next. Is it wrong to say, "Be careful here, I'm going to force a draw if you let me."?

But what comes up for me time and time again is, "What is the proper etiquette in a chess game?"  I don't play in any clubs so I don't have the social training around chess.  Are there rules?  Is it wrong to discuss the game?  Is it wrong to talk at all?  I certainly understand that different people are offended by different things ... but what are the generally accepted rules in chess?  If I played in a tournament and spoke to my opponent, would I be given a "yellow card"?  If I taunted my opponent, would I be run out by bouncers with pocket protectors?

Let me know.  What are the rules of etiquette.  What's considered desirable, acceptable, tolerable, and intolerable.  I wanna know!!! 

PS:  If you fail to answer this question, I will taunt you in our next game.  :-)