LSU Football, Dancing, and Chess
I travelled to Lexington, Kentucky, in mid-October to watch one of the best football games I have ever witnessed. No, it was not just good because the Kentucky Wildcats beat the then #1 ranked LSU Tigers (and now national champions). It was the way the two teams fought. They gave their all. They never gave up. They played out of their strengths. I saw a friend on one team check on an injured friend on the other team. I saw players on opposite teams help each other to get up. I heard people cheering for both teams (more for the home team, obviously). At the end of the game, I had greater respect for both teams.
That is the kind of chess I love to play. When I have played as well as I can and my opponent has played as well as he/she can, I enjoy the games--win, lose, or draw. I love trying to guess how he/she will move. I love trying to anticipate and prepare for attacks. I love defending myself to the best of my abilities. And I love to plan and attack only to watch a great response. At times it is as if I am an observer watching two people play. At times, I find myself cheering on a weaker player--whether in the text box or to myself.
Those kind of games take great concentration. They take planning for each move. They take sizing up the opponent and his/her style. They require a certain amount of accurate guessing of anticipated moves and responses. At times, it can be a little like moves in a well-choreographed dance routine: balanced, flowing, in rhythm, and a work of art.
To be a champion, you have to want to win. You have to give your best. There can be no mental lapses. There have to be fewer mistakes than your opponent (or none). There must be great anticipation of of plans and moves. Focus and energy cannot dwindle. You cannot make good moves. You have to make the best moves, time after time. LSU football, dancing, and chess--who would have ever thought they are connected!