The Truth About Chess

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People, particularly chess players themselves, say the darnedest things about chess and about chess players. Here are some of our favorite misconceptions about the royal game. Some of these sayings are unquestionably off-target, some of them are uneducated impression, and some of them are controversies that might or might not be valid.

1 ) Chess is difficult to grasp.

Chess may not be the easiest game to pick up, but it is far from the most prohibitive. You have to know the moves of the six pieces, where the object with the slightest significance, the Pawn, has the most complex moves. Then you have to memorize the rules about attacking and defending the King, including castling. Then there are a few rules about games where neither player wins. One side of this myth is legitimate – – it is difficult, very difficult, to learn to play chess well. One player in a hundred achieves supremacy.

2 ) You have to be brainy to play chess.

There is some link between chess talent and general intelligence. Minimum smarts are required. Cats and dogs will never make out the basics; no one has tried giving lessons to dolphins and chimpanzees. Chess does involve, after all, using numerous advanced compartments of the brain as skillfully as applicable. People from all walks of life have fun playing chess, several attaining mastery. Some very clever people delight in playing but never progress beyond novice.

3 ) Chess is for nerds.

In fact, this isn’t a misstatement, since chess is for everyone. It is for nerds, geeks, eggheads, and boffins, as usually as it is for anyone else. People who want to call other people unpleasant names should better say, ‘ chess is only for nerds ‘, but this is plainly untrue. Even if it was on target, so what? Intelligent, awkward, quirky people have made more contributions to the evolution of society than have the rest. If they want to play chess, that ‘ s their business.

4 ) Computers play chess better than people.

In 2006, the finest computers play chess better than 99.99% of people, but are evenly leveled in games against the top humans. If, as some experts think, computers are gaining 20 – 30 rating points per year, the moment will soon arrive when humans have no chance against the best machines. It should not be overlooked that computers are always trained by teams of human specialists who program them in psychological areas like opening repertoire. Removing this benefit would eliminate their excellence.

5 ) Chess is a sport.

Here we run the peril of upsetting the many meritorious chess organizers who have spent years trying to prevail upon the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that chess should be included as an Olympic sport. Lifting light pieces of wood or clicking rapidly on a computer monitor is not physically challenging work. As any quantity of photos from foregone high level chess events will demonstrate, chess players don’t always cut a lean, trim, muscular profile.

6 ) Chess isn’t a sport.

Here we try to make amends with those very same organizers who nearly convinced the IOC that chess is a sport. Chess has been included as a medal sport for the 2006 Asian Games. A game between two extraordinary chess masters is full of tension, where superior nerves can make the difference between a winner and an also-ran. Grandmasters have been acknowledged to lose a lot of weight during the action of a month – long contest.

7 ) Women can’t play chess as well as men.

To date it is unquestionable that women have not performed as well as men in chess events. There are many possible reasons for this. One may be that male players are often expert at making female players feel uncomfortable at chess events. The Polgar sisters have gone a long way to convince the chess world that women can play very well. Perhaps one day we will discover that women can even play better than men. No one really knows.

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