Serious Chess

Oct 15, 2009, 9:20 AM |
One Saturday night I sat down to play a fellow named Oscar, originally from Cuba. He was known as Oscar 'Castro', which he hated. When I pulled out a pen and pad,, Oscar said, "Whoa! What are you gonna do, keep score?" I replied that if I tell my students to write down every game, then I should do so. "That makes it a SERIOUS game," he said.
What is 'serious' chess? Does one have to be a titled player to play 'serious' chess, as one 'billbrock' posited on the USCF forum?
I learned recently that Marshall Jaffe had passed away. Marshall played at the House of Pain in one of the lower sections. Even so, his game was usually one of the last to finish, because, unlike other players in the lower sections, he utilized most all of his time. The President of the GCA, Scott Parker, once said about Marshall, "He takes his chess seriously." I looked up Marshall on the MSA and was pleased to see he had crossed over from 'C' to 'B' recently.
Julian Ford took up the game rather late in life. He became a class 'C' player, and, even after suffering a stroke, would still come to the House to play, as difficult as it was to ascend the stairs. Mr Ford won the class 'C' section of the US Class one year, and was very proud of that fact. Mr Parker said, "Julian was serious about his chess."
Mr Brock, a self-professed 'weakie', insults the vast majority of USCF members when he says only higher rated players are capable of playing 'serious' chess. He is one of the 'nattering nabobs' who post frequently on any and all topics on the fourm, usually trying to tear down others who post, in lieu of offering anything positive himself.
Brian Mottershead is another 'nattering nabob'. In one post he 'interpreted' something I had written, as if it had been had written in a foreign language. He is one of those, 'in other words' kind of people. He, too, posts 'early and often' on every thread. He is on the MACA Board of Directors. I looked him up on the MSA and was astonished to see that he has not even played ONE rated game of chess since 1991! Yet he pontificates at length on any and every subject!
I recalled what GM Yasser Seirawan  wrote in INSIDE CHESS before a USCF policy board election many years ago about the various kinds of people who ran for the board, saying there were those who loved chess, and then there were those who only ran because they wanted to run things, many of whom did not even like chess.
I was at a tournament in Florida earlier this decade when I saw Don Schultz and Al Lawrence square off in the foyer of the hotel, playing speed chess. I came back many hours later, and they were still playing. They sure looked serious about their chess! I wonder, just how serious can Brian Mottershead be about the Royal game when he does not even play?