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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Oct '10 01:59 / 1 edit
    I'll spare everyone the details, but non-chess events have resulted in a poor week for me, and it has spilled over into my chess world in the form of some 5 outright blunders and a few other poor moves or ideas that have resulted in my losing several games in rapid succession this week.

    I would have been far better off to have just made the minimum moves necessary this week to get by until I sailed into calmer waters, but my desire to play overwhelms my desire to win many times, and I continue well after the point where I should have called it a night and stopped.

    Sometimes I feel like I cheat the game a little bit with my "less than best" effort, but I also know that if I waited until I was "at my best", I would rarely play at all.

    This leads to my not-so-rhetorical question- why do we play?

    For me, I seem to enjoy the competition, but I only really care about winning if I am involved in a team event (where others depend on my result), or if the other guy is an @$$- I hate losing to @$$holes. Mostly, I play for the competition and to test new ideas and enjoy interesting positions.

    Although when I lose, I sometimes wonder...
  2. 21 Oct '10 04:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    why do we play?

    You play to win the game

    YouTube
  3. 21 Oct '10 08:36
    Originally posted by KneeCaps
    You play to win the game

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLlIdZikDk
    Lol, absolutely brilliant, I love the rant against the Bears, just superb.
  4. 21 Oct '10 12:36
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I'll spare everyone the details, but non-chess events have resulted in a poor week for me, and it has spilled over into my chess world in the form of some 5 outright blunders and a few other poor moves or ideas that have resulted in my losing several games in rapid succession this week.

    I would have been far better off to have just made the minimum m ...[text shortened]... t new ideas and enjoy interesting positions.

    Although when I lose, I sometimes wonder...
    Why do we play? I don't know about you, but I play for pleasure. After 40+ years playing I have no pretensions to ever being anything more than a reasonably good correspondence chess player and downright bad OTB player. So, if I am not enjoying it, if its isn't fun, I'm not going to do it!
  5. 21 Oct '10 17:22
    Define good.

    Good is relative.
  6. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    22 Oct '10 10:46
    I've run into this situation myself. You might try a light game load in your correspondence games, giving yourself time to search the positions deeply before moving. If you get the urge to play a game out, a few blitz games should suffice for that.
  7. Standard member sbacat
    Eddie's Dad
    22 Oct '10 12:41
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett

    This leads to my not-so-rhetorical question- why do we play?
    There's a behavioral modification study done with rats in which the rat is taught that by pressing a pedal in its cage, it can cause a food pellet to slide down a chute. The researchers found that the surest way to inspire a rat to compulsively keep pressing the pedal was to introduce a randomness into whether the food pellet actually came down the chute. If the pellet always came down the chute, the rat would eventually stop striking the pedal until it got hungry again. If no pellet came down, the rat would give up on striking the pedal. But if sometimes a pellet came down and sometimes it did not, the rat compulsively kept striking the pedal even in circumstances where it didn't actually want to eat the food pellet.

    I think why we play, at least those of us who have acquired a moderate or greater compulsion, is not to win the games, ironically, but for the sheer joy of finding a particularly good position, such as forced mate in three, for example. I far more enjoy discovering a mate in three than I do actually winning the same game. The anticipation of victory is far more delicious than the victory itself; knowing that there is no escape for my opponent and he may not even know it yet. I think it is for these 'pellets' of delight that we keep coming back to it. And the randomness of finding them is what seals the deal. With the start of every game, a wee voice inside whispers: Perhaps in this one, I'll be brilliant.

    I don't mean to suggest that chess players are rats, of course, only that there are parallels between the two species that inform the creation of compulsive behavior.

    Enjoy the pellets,
    Steve
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    22 Oct '10 12:50
    Originally posted by sbacat
    There's a behavioral modification study done with rats in which the rat is taught that by pressing a pedal in its cage, it can cause a food pellet to slide down a chute. The researchers found that the surest way to inspire a rat to compulsively keep pressing the pedal was to introduce a randomness into whether the food pellet actually came down the chute. If ...[text shortened]... two species that inform the creation of compulsive behavior.

    Enjoy the pellets,
    Steve
    I think you described me! I am very tempted to form my own "Rat Pack" Clan now- at least I'll have company.

    Thanks for the post!

    Paul
  9. Standard member sbacat
    Eddie's Dad
    22 Oct '10 13:02
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I think you described me! I am very tempted to form my own "Rat Pack" Clan now- at least I'll have company.
    I'd feel compelled to join such a clan.
  10. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    22 Oct '10 15:59
    I lack the class of you guys.

    When I play someone I want to beat them. I want to find the person who taught them how to play and beat them. I don't care if it's my old paw, or some jerk who thinks he's the club ace, I want to make them look like fools OTB. I want to make juniors cry and i want old grizzled vets' faces to turn red as they scratch their head and wonder what just happened.



    I love chess because there is always something to learn and always room to improve, and I'm addicted to it. If I could I'd play 100 games a day, but every time I play, I want to destroy whoever I'm playing. If I do, I look over my game and see what I can do better. If I don't, I get right to work figuring out how I can the next time around.


    I guess it's lack of character on my part, but hey, I love chess too!
  11. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    23 Oct '10 02:56
    Originally posted by Thabtos
    I lack the class of you guys.

    When I play someone I want to beat them. I want to find the person who taught them how to play and beat them. I don't care if it's my old paw, or some jerk who thinks he's the club ace, I want to make them look like fools OTB. I want to make juniors cry and i want old grizzled vets' faces to turn red as they scratch their hea ...[text shortened]... time around.


    I guess it's lack of character on my part, but hey, I love chess too!
    I would call it character, not a lack thereof! There is a reason why we all know who the World Champion is, but can't remember who the world champion of problem-solving is, or who the world champion of composition is, etc.

    I will also go further and suggest that yours is a social character, and it is the person on the other side of the board who makes the game complete for you. Sure you want to beat them, but if there was no one else to play, would you care as much about the game?

    I think the shared social aspect of chess is a large part of what draws us all to it!
  12. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    23 Oct '10 17:42
    I enjoy the moment when I crush a man's lego.