My previous post on Ratings Snobs, "Different Games" and Piles of Horse Dung succeeded in starting some stimulating discussion, and for that I am grateful. Today, a brief expansion of a couple of points:
1) Publishing my IQ and my estimated rating at "life" (2300) were both given in a spirit of humor and humility--hmmm, if I'm so smart why am I a mid-level bureaucrat with 1607 USCF rating :)--but Loomis summed up what I was trying to get at very nicely:
The problem is that chess players often try to carry what they've earned on the chess board to the rest of life. When chess players are together, for some reason their ratings impact every social interaction, chess related or not. That to me is bizarre.
Well and succinctly said!
I guess I could also sum it up by saying having a 2200 rating doesn't make you a Master of Life, nor does it make your opinion on who ought to be the next President of the U.S. or any other political or social issue worth more than that of a person rated 1200.
2) I got on Mig Greengard for writing:
I've often said that elite chess is a very different game from amateur chess
but meant the critique mainly for the terminology ("a very different game"). To expand, the difference at the very top (say 2700+ or -; there's no bright line) is that the opponent isn't going to make very many mistakes (though few games will be "perfect"), and so obtaining some advantage as White, or equality as Black, is a lot more important than at lower levels. Even at the 2500-2600 level a GM is going to get more opportunities in most games, with either color, to redress the balance after an inaccuracy or two. So in a tournament like Mexico City openings are more important than for the rest of us, agreed. But the terminology employed seems designed to separate these guys as some kind of demigods or something--us chess proletarians just don't understand what's going on, y'know. But if that's really true, why should the rest of us waste our time looking at the games, buying these guys' books or supporting Superduper-GM chess in any way, when we could be spending it on our tactics exercises and studying our own games? I'm just sayin', that's where the "different game" logic leads.
Anyway, heartiest congratulation to Anand, World Champion. Better get those openings ready for Kramnik...