Questioning Non-Chess Players About Chess

Questioning Non-Chess Players About Chess

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Hello there, and welcome to the Lightning Reports. Today I'm doing something a bit different, but I think you'll find it enjoyable. I created a google form with 19 chess-related questions on it and sent the form to 2 of my friends and 1 sibling. None of them play chess. Why would I do this? Simple. I want to see how much they know about chess. I want to see what they truly think about chess, about chess players. So, I sent them the form, and they all filled it out. Now what I'm gonna do is post each question here, along with all of their answers, with my reactions to their answers in parenthesis. There are some funny answers in here that even got me laughing, so I hope you enjoy it. The 3 people who answered the questions were asked if they wanted to stay anonymous and, if not, to give me a name to use. The 3 names of these people, as far as this blog is concerned, are Anonymous, Sibling, and Grant. 

Question One

Me: "How did you first come to know the existence of chess?"

Anonymous: "I don't remember."

(Somehow, that's not even the worst answer here.)

Sibling: "My brother plays."

(You're dang right he does. My sibling only knows chess exists because I play. Nice.)

Grant: "No clue."

(... you couldn't have at least made something up?)

Question Two

Me: "Have you ever even played chess before?"

Anonymous: "Yes"

(Good answer)

Sibling: "Once or twice"

(It would be very disappointing if someone in my own family had never played chess, so, good for you!)

Grant: "Yes"

(Another good answer! All 3 of them gave a good answer. The odds of that happening were lower than the odds that Magnus Carlsen completely quits chess today)

Question Three

Me: "Why don't you play chess?"

Anonymous: "I'd rather do other stuff"

(Yeah this guy is totally the typa guy to play checkers instead of chess. Seriously though, what would you rather do that keeps you from playing at least 1 game a year? Do it. 1 Game a year. If you want my friend to play 1 game of chess a year, at least, type "Play" in the comments.)

Sibling: "I find it boring"

(...... how are we even related??)

Grant: "I don't enjoy it"

(Mi amigo... I respect that. I don't understand that, but I respect that.)

Question Four

Me: "What do you think about chess in general?"

Anonymous: "It cool Ig"

(Oh, it's cool? Is it? I feel like if it's cool then you should play chess more often, buddy. Again, type "Play" in the comments if you think my friend here should play some chess, at least one game a year.)

Sibling: "I think that it is slow and boring and takes forever"

(.....Ok, wow. I mean, even if the game taking too long was an issue for you, there exists bullet chess. As for it being boring... I mean, I can't help you there. That's unfortunate.)

Grant: "It's great for those who like it"

(Another respectable answer)

Question Five

Me: "Do you think chess is just some old game for nerds?" 

Anonymous: "Not really"

(Good answer)

Sibling: "Yes"

(What. The. Heck. There's no way we are actually related.)

Grant: "No"

(So my two friends both say no, but my sibling, whom I am related to, says yes... I am deeply offended)

Question Six

Me: "Do you think people who play chess have a higher IQ?"

Anonymous: "No"

Sibling: "Yes"

Grant: "No"

(I don't know how to react to these answers considering how, uh, empty they are. Good job? Thanks for answering? Yeah, next question.)

Question Seven

Me: "Do you think chess is an esport, sport, both, or none of these things?"

Anonymous: "Sport"

(I honestly thought you'd say none, so I'm pleased to see I set the bar too low for you. Well done, my friend.)

Sibling: "Mainly an esport but a little bit of sport"

(I also had low expectations for you, considering your previous answers, but this is a great answer. It sounds like you were close to saying both, which is what my answer would be, but you are not yet ready to accept the idea of chess being a sport. One step at a time, sibling.)

Grant: "None"

(While I had low expectations for the other 2, I actually knew this would very, very likely be Grant's answer. Even still, that's highly disappointing. Cmon, man!)

Question Eight

Me: "What well-known chess players can you name?"

Anonymous: "Isaac Snow"

(Um what)

Sibling: "Magnus Carlson"

(Carlsen. But close enough. You know more well-known chess players than the other 2 here.)

Grant: "Isaac"

(What the heck)

Question Nine

Me: "What would it take for you to learn how to properly play chess?"

Anonymous: "A new truck Idk"

(So all I have to do is get you a new truck and you'll learn how to properly play chess? If so, I have one in mind. Hint: it's a toy truck. It's also broken. Oh, and it's free, so it'll cost me absolutely nothing. I think Anonymous should have to learn how to properly play chess now. Do you agree?)

Sibling: "More patience than I have and lessons"

(It is very true that you have no patience whatsoever, and you would need lessons. I suppose this is a valid answer for once.)

Grant: "If that’s what I’d need to do to save the world ig I’d do it"

(Dude. What the heck. For real? It would take the world being in immediate danger for you to learn how to properly play chess? The whole world has to be on the line? Yikes, man. I mean, at least Grant would do it for the world...)

Question Ten

Me: "What is your favorite chess piece and why?"

Anonymous: "Queen. She can go anywhere"

(Fair reasoning)

Sibling: "The queen bc it is the most powerful and is in control"

(This says a lot about you...)

Grant: "Whatever the least useful one is because it’s the most relatable"

(.... 🤣🤣🤣🤣)

Question Eleven

Me: "This next question is about the "Chess Boom." If you don't know what that is, then 1), You've been living under a rock, and 2), it's the stunning surge of interest in chess in 2020 due to the coronapocalypse keeping ppl locked up and bored at home, all online chess content like chess streaming, and chess YouTubing, and the Queen's Gambit on Netflix, all helping spark interest in chess. The Chess Boom continued in 2021 with more online chess content and the World Chess Championship. So now that you sort of know what the chess boom is, tell me, what do you think about it?"

Anonymous: "It's dumb. People shouldn't be afraid to get out and play in person. I'm tired of people being afraid of a sickness."

(I- no, I'm not even gonna say anything. I refuse to make any comment about this that could potentially cause controversy. This is not the kind of answer I was expecting, but I think he put far more time into this answer than his other answers. I will at least say, I disagree with the chess boom being dumb. It has been great for chess and continues to bring people into the world of chess. The rest of his answer, I refuse to comment on furthermore.)

Sibling: "I think that it is a good way to let people who want to learn to play chess a chance to learn"

(You- you really think so? I half-expected you to say it would convert millions of people into nerds, just based on your earlier answers to questions.)

Grant: "👀"

(Thank you for this deep, meaningful response. I totally understand. Great, just a great answer. Yeah. Keep it up.)

Question Twelve

Me: "What are your thoughts about chess streaming, YouTubing, blogging, and any other form of chess content there is?"

Anonymous: "I don't have any"

(Dang... that's tough to work with. You have 0 thoughts about this. Even though in the past, I have talked to you about each of these things and you know I have done/do each of these things. Alright, sure. I believe you. Definitely.)

Sibling: "It doesn't interest me in any way but it is a good way to get people to recognize chess"

(What is going on here, another valid answer? Nothing makes sense anymore.)

Grant: "It's ok"

(I mean, that's not much, but at least you had that one thought about it. More than anonymous, who for some reason does not want to share any thoughts about this.)

Question Thirteen

Viewer Question from @Ricorat, who asks: "How do you view people who play chess?"

Anonymous: "Depends on their personality"

(I'm going to assume this means you literally don't care that they play chess? And just view people based on their personality? Like, the fact that they play chess doesn't matter in this case? Interesting.)

Sibling: "I think they are nerds who are very smart and boring"

(Aaaand we're back. I knew it was too good to be true when Sibling had given several valid answers. Now we're back to the whole chess players are nerds thing. Sigh.)

Grant: "Equally"

(Ok, actually, I love this answer. It's only one word, but it says a lot.)

Question Fourteen

Viewer Question from @angryspacevoid, who asks: "What are your thoughts on the World Chess Championship Match being broadcasted on NBC Sports?"

Anonymous: "I don't have any"

(How? I told you about this via text over the summer, and you said... I don't remember what you said, but whatever you said then contained more thoughts than this answer. I think Anonymous is just hiding his thoughts from us because, well, I have no idea why. Interesting strategy.)

Sibling: "I didn't even know about that so......"

(How...? I literally told you about that. Several times, in fact. Were you just not listening? )

Grant: "It's cool Ig"

(Not much emotion behind that at all, but Grant just said something chess-related is cool. Y'all don't realize how much that means coming from him.)

Question Fifteen

Viewer Question from @assassin3572, who asks: "How do you view cheating in chess?"

Anonymous: "Unfair"

(Valid answer)

Sibling: "Cheating is always wrong. Even if chess takes forever to finish, you don't need to cheat to win."

(Actually a good answer...)

Grant: "If your not cheating you're not trying"

(What the heck 🤣🤣🤣)

Question Sixteen

Viewer Question from @Fuchuina, who asks: "Have you heard about any of the top chess streamers and YouTubers?"

Anonymous: "No"

Sibling: "Nope"

Grant: "No"

(These were all the expected answers, but wow, was hoping for something more. Not much to work with here...)

Question Seventeen

Me: "Any interest in playing a game of chess with me? Think you could beat me?"

Anonymous: "Ig and no"

(Hey! Anonymous says he guesses he has some interest in playing a game of chess with me! Let's go!)

Sibling: "I might do one game and no I would lose immediately"

(Ok, we are definitely playing, because according to you, people who play chess are nerds. You are about to become a nerd, according to your own words. No take-backs.)

Grant: "No"

(Ouch. That hurts. Sad life when your friend does not want to play a game with you - your favorite game, at that!)

Question Eighteen

Me: "How many views do you think a chess blog, written by a chess player and posted on a chess website, will get?"

Anonymous: "Idk"

(I mean, yeah, true, you don't know, but how bout a guess? I'm inserting a random guess for him because I refuse to let "Idk" be his final answer. His random guess, which is just me typing random numbers with my eyes closed, is... 1863. Dang. I hope he's right )

Sibling: "I guess it depends on how many people want to play chess. I don't have an answer."

(I had to react to this one irl. When I read this answer, I remarked that I don't understand it whatsoever, so Sibling guessed a number, and that number is 350. So, please, please let this get over 350 views at least, because we can't let Sibling be right.)

Grant: "15"

(Ouch, that hurts. 15? I mean, I was telling you all about my blog a few weeks ago. Guess you weren't listening. Did you mean to type 150? 1500? No? You- you meant to type 15? Well, alright then. And I thought Sibling would give the worst answer here. If this is limited to 15 views or less then I will give Grant everything I own. Good grief, man.)

Question Nineteen

Me: "Summarize your thoughts about chess in one last statement."

Anonymous: "Its ight ig"

(If it's "ight" as you say, then you should definitely start playing chess more often 😁)

Sibling: "I think that it is a boring, tiring sport for nerds"

(Oh my goodness, please stop, Sibling)

Grant: "Checkers is better"

(Whoa. Hey now, that's too far. That's way too far. How could you say that, Grant? How could you?)

Well, that was interesting. Those 2 friends and 1 Sibling clearly do not think so highly of chess. I learned a lot about how each of them views chess, and I didn't think I'd learn anything! Granted, it was only 3 people who answered these questions, and they alone can't represent all the NCPs out there. But I expect that most other NCPs have similar thoughts about chess. Regardless, what do you think about these questions directed to non-chess players? What do you think about their responses? Let me know down in the comments below. Before I end this, quick shoutouts to @ricorat, @angryspacevoid, @assassin3572, and @Fuchuina, who all participated in a friendly competition in my club to see whose suggested questions would be featured in this blog, and their questions made it on. Anyway, thanks so much for reading. I'll cyall in the comments!