Mixing it up with one puerile Paystub

Feb 16, 2012, 10:32 AM |

Chess does attract a puerile element, and the principals come in all age groups. Mostly their behaviors include trash talking in the chat box, sore losing behavior such as letting the clock run down or just disconnecting.  Face it.  If you play online chess you are going to get a few of these.

Today, however, I would like to share a very special example of the puerile element.  This individual masks his childish beliefs and trash talk as some sort of "valor".  Let me introduce to you the chessplayer who calls himself Paystub.

Here's what he writes on his profile page.

Win, lose or draw I don't do rematches. Another day, another time, another story. Tired of scared chess. Some call it "variation exchange".It's fear. If you are that afraid to play with pieces, try checkers. It's nuthin more than a blind monkey looking for a banana. Yes, they do find em. I guess that's why they keep doing it. So they don't starve:) There are some who say chess is a reflection of the way you live. I believe this to be very true. You can feel the fear in a person's game, or the bravery. Before you write and tell me how brave you are playing "variation exchange" and how all play this way, take a hike. I had the chance to play a 2900 rated GM and he never once showed fear. All his exchanges produced either a point or a solid winning position. He, or she, let me play with all the pieces I wanted before he beat me. If you played scared and I let you know, good. Maybe it will help you in life and you will not wander through it so scared.

To me, his words reveal a blatant misunderstanding of the game, its psychology, and its strategy. Chess is a struggle of wits and most of all wills, with all sorts of decisions along the way. Often we have to decide whether we should take what is given or maybe try for more. This process involves piece development, pawn structure, and sometimes exchanges.

In and of itself, the exchange of pieces is not cowardly.  Nor is it cowardly to simplify out of complications or a cramped position.  These are pragmatic choices designed to deny the opponent what he seeks. I hope that one day Paystub learns enough about this game to figure that out.

Now, for our game.  As far as we got, it does represent a common sideline in the Sveshnikov Sicilian.  Not exactly what I'd call a "cowardly" choice for black. 




So, why did this end so soon?  He resigned, and then called me "chicken" in the chat box.  Then he told me I should take up checkers instead.  Yeah.  That's the way to show me!

By the way.  Thanks for the material.