My wife hates chess

Jun 30, 2009, 3:44 PM |

Not really, she tolerates me running off a weekend every month to a tournament and has made her peace with my daily chess addiction - both offline and online.

This is more of a chess anecdote relating to how she reluctantly learned how to play the game given how excited I get about it. How she happens to be one of the chosen few who is born with many traits that a good chess player should have.  Not a weasel like me who gets by trying to "learn" things that most people can see instantly :)

After learning the rules, she played a few games against her colleague at work and in little less than a week later, she cranks this game out. Note that she has ONLY been taught just how to move the pieces, deliver the most basic check mates and a few guidelines about opening the game.

My wife played Black.   Note that while White (me)'s play is mostly sloppy and sometimes downright bad, I certainly wasn't throwing the game away either :)

Can you remember the last time you saw a newbie make moves like this?

So yeah ... we haven't played a game since then. She made it clear she hates losing to people ... or should I say losing ... period!  She took a lot of time per move, though in the end she said she doesn't like having to think that hard for a whole game either. So she dismisses this game as "not her thing". 

You can imagine how I felt!

I just wish I saw things naturally the way she did in this game ... I was proud ... but almost overwhelmed at how much I had to study,to learn and the amount of work I needed to put in to play the kind of moves she did instinctively.

So I believe my wife has most of the good qualities of a chess player:

- Hates losing with a passion
- Takes her time per move.
- A very natural feel for the board and a sense of danger.
- Instinctively looks for counterplay.
- Is pretty OCD about not making mistakes.

She could clearly get frighteningly good if she played more often.

But ...

She just doesn't want to play.

Makes me wonder if some of the most natural chess-playing talent on this planet just happens to "not play" chess.

These days when I play a fun combination online or at a tourney, something you can be proud of ... I still hesitate a bit before showing it to her. I'm afraid she might figure it out before I can finish a sentence and say "So?" :)