Chess, no messi affair?

A long read. A nice, long read, especially for those who have long since abandoned hope in that mission.

The sound of silence rules the hall, even moreso than in a library – as thoughts of moves and counter-moves clash before joining forces. It is into such a den would step someone with a mid-life crisis, and in a bold quest for some elusive glory.

Stephen Moss is that person, who then recounts his odyssey, Truth, beauty and annihilation: my quest for chess mastery For him much agony, little ecstasy, as he explores the game and meets the mighty personages – from grandmaster to mere novice.

Amid the allure, the start fact, as Moss notes,

…When I set out on my mission, I wanted to grasp the truth of a position and create something beautiful. But as I played in more and more tournaments, I just wanted to win: to beat my opponent and improve my grade. Of course one does that by understanding more about chess, by becoming more adept at analysing positions, by getting closer to their mystical “truth”. But I had also come to see that strength of character, calmness under pressure, the sheer will to win were just as important. Maybe even more important at the amateur level, where errors abound. “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake,” said Savielly Tartakower, a Polish grandmaster from the first half of the 20th century and the game’s greatest aphorist. Kill or be killed. To hell with truth.

As for the quest for ‘art’, it turns on whose art,

According to [Hein] Donner: “The whole point of the game [is] to prevent an artistic performance.” The former world champion Garry Kasparov makes the same point.

And, if one is in search for some quality sour grapes, this is of the best vintage,

Chess, like fishing and pigeon fancying, is a great form of structured time-wasting.,

Which can be the philosophical consolation after any unnecessary self-inflicted defeat.

Then, again, a review of frightening reality such as this, Athletic Bilbao Vs Barcelona 1-3 – Lionel Messi Incredible Goal – May 30 2015 – Copa Del Rey Final

would be more than sufficient for a brisk return to the board, and the search for some nervous novice?


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