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Do you hate or love your opponents?

  • #101

    This question stems from a conversation in the movie (so cliche as it is when talking about chess, ever) "Searching For Bobby Fischer".  The question has a place in the movie all the way up to the end. Josh offers the kid a draw when he's got him beat, but the opponent, being a jerk, refuses because he can't see it. Josh's teacher, "Bruce Pandolfini" a.k.a, Ben Kingsley, tells Josh during 1 session that Fischer hated his opponents, because they stood between HIM and VICTORY and that in Chess, all that matters is winning. 

    To Fischer, that was true. To most people, it's not. We play to get better. Our opponents were us at one point. When we beat them, part of us shouldn't feel satisfied. Without a doubt, every single time, every game you win....your opponent had an opportunity to make a better move, stop your threat, or probably even start winning against you.

    If you beat somebody, and feel like you've accomplished something.....well, there you are ful-filling the core of what makes Chess great. That is, satisfying the ego. Josh was different because he understood that there is no need to hate your opponent. You can play vicious, deadly, ruthless, 100% accurate chess and still love your opponent.

    Fischer hated his opponents because in his mind, he was the absolute best in the world. He had to win. Any loss would let doubt creep into the rest of the world's minds. Into his opponents minds.

    If you decide to hate your opponents, you will never see the parts of your games that might have room for improvement. You will win, and think nothing of it.

    If you love your opponents, they will help you develop. You will empathize with them, and start to look objectivley at your games. You might even review your games and start to look for better moves your opponent could have made, which will in turn strengthen your own game.

    This answer is the most in depth one I think anyone can give on this subject. Don't hate. Hate leads to the dark side.  ;)  

  • #102

    One good way to make me play bad chess is to be really disagreeable. I don't enjoy spending hours with someone I really dislike; it affects how I think.

    So for me, I prefer to play friends. It's a weakness in my game.

  • #103

    Neither love nor hate. I respect them.

  • #104

    When I find myself muttering obscenities against opponents in speed chess, I need to back off and take a break.  It goes with some of those games though.  I have noticed how some opponents literally live for getting 2/1 minute games down to the speedy under 20 seconds clock where they are being blitzed and thrive in that environment.  

    Fischer did not hate the players he respected; which was pretty much his criteria for a valid human being, the ability to play strong chess.

  • #105
    AnthonyCG wrote:

    Why would I hate someone that's playing a game with me?

    People need grow a damn backbone.

    "love is all you need"

    altogether now!

  • #106

    Depends on how they play the game. Usually I'm able to just talk with them while playing, but sometimes you get that opponent that's all business, those tend to be the ones I dislike.



  • #107

    So this thread go necro'ed by F3Knight, but I've since had time to reflect. Earlier I said I only "hate" my opponent in a tournament or online setting in terms of competitive spirit. It's often been used as a tool in other sports like American football, boxing, arm wrestling, etc. in order to drive your confidence and determination.

    Now though I've decided I only dislike my opponent when certain situations come up. For example:

    1. Refusing to move once a lost position is reached.

    2. Using you as a punching bag, then when you finally are about to win a game, they yank their connection (or pull #1 above).

    3. After demonstrating expert skill against a strong opponent to reach a won endgame, they then force you to play it out as an insult to your ability, and only resign one move before checkmate. Then they request a rematch (which I turn down as punishment for insulting my intelligence).

    4. Someone that starts the game off by intentionally playing blunders, wasting your time.

    5. Someone that aborts when either they don't like your opening, or they want to get white instead of black.

    It's those kind of players that I "hate" per se.

  • #108

    There is the saying that indifference is the highest form of hatred; neglect, inaction a lack of a human response, abstract relationships.  So that is another angle of the problem.  In the end I don't really hate, especially people that I don't know, chiefly I am disgusted with bad actors or those who make things worse by not letting quarrels pass.  "A soft answer turns away anger".   I say this from experience.  An offhand disrespectful comment I made leads to legal threats....What we have here is a failure to communicate....

    Cool Hand Luke (1967) 

  • #109

    i've never had any bad feelings against my opponent

    often i'll call myself names when i make a very silly move

    i have had a number of opponents make it very clear i'm not their favourite person both during and after games

    for me though, its a game, win or lose i'd prefer to playing it with someone than not playing at all

  • #110

    What do you mean, got necro'ed?  >_>  You should sympathize with your opponent when you beat them, and respect them when they beat you.  Anything else is harboring resentment and misplaced anger/frustration due to your own inabilities.  There is always a bigger fish and we are always learning. If you can understand that and respect that, you're a better chess player (and probably a better person) than somebody who gets mad at the reasons that Firebrand stated. People are stupid, arrogant, conceited. Why let online chess bother you, at all?  Chess over the board is really the only chess that matters. Even then, only rated games should get you playing for the kill. 

    During competetive Chess, I have that same blood boiling feeling. That same desire to win, at all costs. Nobody is my friend in a tournament hall. That doesn't mean I hate my opponents. There is no room for hate in chess. 

  • #111

    I fear them...until they blunder...then I like them very much

  • #112


  • #113

    Thank you to open this topic!

    I don't complain about my opponent if s/he for example beat me! instead I try to learn from his good and my bad moves. just if s/he dishonest me (i.e by bad words or leave game,...) I'll be annoyed about them.

    I believe we should respect each other as the members of this great internaional chess environment,if so we can enjoy and learn more from games and people. I like all good humans especially modest chess players...

  • #114

    I hate it when they cramp my position! But other than that I respect my CC opponents, blitz on the other hand..

  • #115
    Anurag wrote:

    Yea, i do hate my opponents!

    Did u watch the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer"? In that movie there was a line "If you want to win a game, you must hate your opponents".

    Did you also notice that the hero of the story did not follow that advice and was the better for it?

  • #116

    I think hate will not help you in the long run. but what will make you become a better chess player is having a rival - one you do not want to lose to.

    if you have to meet a rival in a tournament and you know one week in advance you have to play this person - you study his games or their opening for hours and you find the mistakes he makes. - this will make you a better chess player.
    you study hard and you want to study because you know if you don't you lose.

  • #117

    I might be mistaken but wasn't his main rival in real life Kamsky who won the 2013 U.S. Open....? (I seem to think so but i am not sure.....) I both read the book and saw the movie but its been awhile.

  • #118

    I love to hate them and hate to love them...

    When you dont like your opponent there is a juicy/spicy tension to it all... like when you prick a delicious (still sizzling) steak and the fatty juice squirts all over the place...

    During the game youre sweating.. your adrenaline is surging through your thickened veins... you stop blinking and go into trances... imagine crushing the smug little fool opposite you... your heart racing like a computers processor, between moves when you need a rest from calculation your mind wanders to that magical ethereal realm of fantasy ... of possibilities... imagining the humiliation of the opponent as he begs for draws and desperately searches for magical saves and stalemates, his eyes frantically wide jerking itself around the beautiful net you put around him, admiring the position youve engineered. Magic............ OHHHHH I goto start a game right nowwwww!!!!!!!!! with someone on my "friend" list hahaha lets not  kid each other... it is an "ENEMY" list....

  • #119

    If I sat across the board from you, you would definitely win. I would be laughing and wincing too much.


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