Chauvinism - A Queen Sac

May 13, 2011, 7:26 PM |

After I walked into Borders Bookstore, he took one look at me and said, "You don't play chess." I ignored him. That was the first time I saw him. I introduced myself to the other players who were more welcoming. Last night we had an opportunity to play. I wish I had recorded the game, but trust me, it was pretty uneventful. He sits down and says, "Let me see what you know." After a few opening moves, I threatened his queen with a pawn. Instead of moving the queen to a safer location, he says, "I'll just have to play without my queen." Inside, I smiled. The fallacy of pride and chauvinism has effectively conquered my opponent. Two moves later and the game was over.  Can I still celebrate this victory? After all, what have I done to effectively assist in his defeat?

When two people sit opposite one another, you can not deny the social psychology that impacts the moment. A person's attitude about gender, race, economics, among other factors that influence assumptions play important roles during the game. A sound personal esteem and an intentional clearing of biases on your mental palette will serve to improve your game. With little chess-related information on your opponent, your perspective on them should be even; it does not serve your game to perceive your opponent to be any better or worse than you. If you do so, you would only misinform your game. Play your game. Your play should not be dictated by misinformed assumptions and bias. Allow each move to inform your opinions about your opponent's ability and style of play, so that you can then make decisions about your move. Focus on each move and don't open yourself to psychological manipulations. Refresh your mind.