Thursday, September 21, 2006

On Losing

Elizabeth Scott's letter in the most recent Chess Life, while mainly about women in chess, makes an excellent ancillary point that ought to be emphasized again and yet again (which is why I'm putting the excerpt here):

I think parents, teachers, coaches and organizers miss the big picture about chess. It is an incredibly beautiful game and should be taught as such. Think long-term when you teach, teach the intricacy of tactics, strategy, the beautiful move, and you will have a chess addict for the rest of his or her life. You teach winning, you get burnout because as you learn chess, you lose a lot. When you look back at a session, the winning or losing of games shouldn’t have registered, only the beautiful moves and positions. Teach the beauty of the game. I can’t stress that enough.

I've added the emphasis because I think it's so important. You know, bringing this attitude to the tournament hall would help all of us who play 'serious' chess, as well. As much as we love it, it's a game, and it should be a joy to play, win, lose or draw.

2 comments:

Qxh7# said...

Nice post. I too often lose track of the big picture at the tournament table.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is that people don't play anymore they use chess programs to win the games mainly at playchess.com and pogo.com and yahoo funny thing is that playchess.com claims to catch the cheaters but they really don't most of the players are not lagitament. (Something is wrong with the cheating mentallity)