Why I love and hate CHESS!

Jun 23, 2012, 8:16 AM |

I love its precision and beauty The creativity and deep thought required to succeed. The vast scope that can provide a lifetime of exploration. The art of a queen sac, the brute force of a triple battery. The tension of two players trying to queen first. The bottom of my stomach dropping when I realize I just left my queen open to attack, and the fanatic but futile prayers the he didn’t see it. The self-loathing when I see that he did.

The feeling like I can conquer the world after a win, and the despair after a loss. The joy at finding the strength to play another game. The feeling of being part of a tradition, of being up there with the great players even if for mere seconds. I love having one thing in my life that serves as an intellectual stimulation, artistic expression, obsession, and recreation, all at the same time. I love the look of the pieces on the board, the set-up is like language, it looks like gibberish unless you understand it. The cool feel of plastic or the warm wood, the weight as you shift your forces in attack or defense. The feeling of being apart of something so universal.

A knight or a queen is a knight or a queen whereever you go, with the same powers and weaknesses. I love bishops over knights, but also love having to spend the rest of my life proving why.

I hate the fact that I am never able to fully expolit and display my talent. Or when my opponent conjures up a new opening which throws me off my game. 

I hate the feeling when I play into my opponents repetoire, and love it when I avoid it on move 4 to play him into my repetoire. I love it when I am so far ahead, but depressed when not,I hate the fact I am usually losing the battle, my dream is to underpromote a pawn as an expression of style to rub salt into the wound of an arrogant opponent.

I hate the fact that I was once ignorant, that I was of those who would mock someone for playing chess, I love the fact that I now am the so-called laughing stock.   

I love beating computers, no matter how weak. I love how the computer does not judge me or make rude remarks,  I love how it treats me as an equal and gives me subtle chances to re-establish my dominance in the game.

I love the learning experience of playing stronger players, even if I only last 15 moves. I hate how the human mind is so susceptible and prone to arrogance.

I love the win, hate the loss, appreciate the draw, but live for the experience. I agree to a certain length that not everyone is a born winner, yes we may not excel in all fields of life, but we are all specialists and masters in our own way in our own paths. I love how chess can build you up with tough love, harsh at times, but knowing it can only make you stronger puts a smile on my face. I fully embrace and love "thank for your time and the game of chess" and hate the cynical "hahaha"  at the zero hour of chess.  

Chess is one  of many positive links to my chlidhood, back to that first simple and intangible love of the look of the pieces set up at the beginning of a game. I love how my ex-boyfriend introduced the sport to me, I hated how he thought he was superior to me in every way, I loved it when it when my rook captured his queen at e4 during our 7th rematch, which lead me to a sweet victory. Chess may teach you to control your excitement, but sometimes I am overwhelmed with joy, watching my pieces boast superior positions and having fully exceuted a checkmate. Take that Stuart...

Chess requires all those virtues I most`want to cultivate: strength, courage, good judgement, calmness in crisis, confidence, and quickmindedness. Then it gives me the venue to practice them all.

I hate how your intuition and ability to decept and plan the game diminishes after a period of idle activity.

I hate the fact old-fashioned stereotypes in modern day overwhelm the battle of kings. I hate the fact that people assume that I am female and therefore a lesser intelligent being due to the colour of my hair and sexual organs. I don't understand, what is it that makes me so dumb at chess?  So what if I am not gifted...

I hate the fact that I will probably never win 10 games in a row let alone win a game by checkmate, but I love the fact that, no matter how bad I feel, there is still a very very faint glimmer of hope that I will. No matter how ridiculous an individual game seems, there is always something to learn from it.

I love that the weakest can become the strongest, and all power is relative. There are few rules but infinite possibilities. It is both escape and coping mechanism, salvation and damnation, friend and enemy. Chess is so many things at once. 

I play at least 1 game of chess a day, whether online or at university, either way please don't comment on my chess, I would like to insult you, but the sad truth is you wouldn't understand.


Upcoming blog "Daughter of a homo-homosapian"