What is True Joy?

Jun 26, 2008, 5:19 PM |
Joy! What is joy? Joy is what you felt on your wedding day (hopefully). Joy is what you felt when your first child was born. Joy is what you’ll feel when you finally pay off your mortgage! Joy comes in many forms; whether it’s making music, finding true love, or playing chess. Siegbert Tarrasch, a leading chess player who lived from 1862 - 1934, once said, “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy”. What is it? Why are we so attracted to chess? Why does it make us so happy?

 - What attracts me to chess is "personal best ". It is the challenge of rising above the level you may find yourself at any particular time. We all strive to improve, regardless of the level of our play, and the understanding we have of the game. And I am attracted when it is done under tournament conditions, where there is serious opposition to you finding the best moves, and playing a game you are proud of. It gets the adrenalin going. Finally there is the great element of "surprise". Some tactics are truly beautiful to behold. Best if you find them, but much appreciated even when played against you, and you didn't see it coming. -Bob Armstrong

 - Maybe we play chess for the same reasons that we live: for the occasional glimpse of total happiness and fulfillment. Life just like chess involves mental, emotional and physical strain doesn't it? The chess player goes on hoping that his next game will be his best ever while most people hope that the next day will somehow bring ultimate happiness if only for a short moment. -Jean Hébert

 - Chess is hard. It involves mental, emotional and physical strain. What are the rewards? -Rick Garel

The rewards of chess are great! It is a powerful exercise for the mind. It gives us a sense of fulfillment. Successchess.com says: Chess involves critical thinking, Chess cultivates visualization skills, Chess improves problem solving skills, Chess teaches concentration and self-discipline, Chess rewards determination and perseverance, Chess raises self-esteem, Chess promotes good sportsmanship, Chess encourages socialization skills that extend across cultures and generations, Chess is fun!

A member of our chess club passed this one onto me: "It's a game that makes you think forward. Some of the principles learned in chess can be used every day, such as trying to troubleshoot things to get the best result out of any situation."

Chess is more than just a game, it a puzzle, a challenge, and a true joy!