Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 26 Oct '16 07:06 / 1 edit
    Why is it that the 2 most powerful chess players ever to come from North America (Morphy and Fischer) were mentally unstable? Is there something in the drinking water? The rock formations? The food? The American chess community said some unpleasant things about the Russian chess players during the cold war era, but folks like Petrosian, Spassky, and Karpov led relatively normal lives compared to Morphy and Fischer.
  2. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Oct '16 11:29
    Originally posted by mchill
    Why is it that the 2 most powerful chess players ever to come from North America (Morphy and Fischer) were mentally unstable? Is there something in the drinking water? The rock formations? The food? The American chess community said some unpleasant things about the Russian chess players during the cold war era, but folks like Petrosian, Spassky, and Karpov led relatively normal lives compared to Morphy and Fischer.
    We just get all the luck.
  3. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    26 Oct '16 12:58
    Fluoridated water corrupting the precious bodily fluids.
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    29 Oct '16 00:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by mchill
    Why is it that the 2 most powerful chess players ever to come from North America (Morphy and Fischer) were mentally unstable? Is there something in the drinking water? The rock formations? The food? The American chess community said some unpleasant things about the Russian chess players during the cold war era, but folks like Petrosian, Spassky, and Karpov led relatively normal lives compared to Morphy and Fischer.
    The only unpleasant things I am aware of the American chess community saying about Russian (Soviet) chess players were usually in reference to collusion and cheating.

    Usually the most entertaining conflicts were between Fischer and other US players (Reshevsky and later Benko when he defected).

    I suspect that the players who could have been the most powerful players from the US found better and more productive uses for their time, so that left the crazies a vacuum to fill.

    In that context and as I spend time reading the forum and typing this, I wonder where I fall on the crazy scale...
  5. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    29 Oct '16 10:17
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    In that context and as I spend time reading the forum and typing this, I wonder where I fall on the crazy scale...
    You needn't worry about that, Paul.
  6. 29 Oct '16 11:44
    Taking only Morphy and Fischer in consideration is hasty generalization: it's easy to find loonies in other nations, too, beginning with Steinitz, Rubinstein, Planinc, Miles, Mecking, Carlos Torre /running naked on the streets), etc.

    The matter is that chess leads to insanity if man is obsessed with it.
    The cure may be to have psychology as occupation (as Fine, for example) or to be a shrink, or - always - to retreat from chess when it becomes too serious.
  7. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    30 Oct '16 20:11
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    The matter is that chess leads to insanity if man is obsessed with it.
    The cure may be to have psychology as occupation (as Fine, for example) or to be a shrink, or - always - to retreat from chess when it becomes too serious.
    I wonder if it's less that chess leads to insanity than that the insane are often drawn to or obsessed with chess.
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    30 Oct '16 23:58
    Originally posted by byedidia
    I wonder if it's less that chess leads to insanity than that the insane are often drawn to or obsessed with chess.
    Typed by a logical hand and worthy of a "thumbs up". Sometimes a post just strikes me as insightful simply by framing the truly interesting question, and this was one of those posts.