Monday, June 2, 2008

The World's Best Game

How many great strategists have lost 6 men from Yakutsk attacking the one lowly Alaskan who happens to keep rolling sixes? I know at least one. Won't happen in chess and that's why I love chess. It is pure strategy. Luck plays little or no part; there is no role of the dice, bad beats, or beginner's luck. The better player wins 9 times in 10.

With apologies to soccer, chess is the true Beautiful Game. Not the board or the pieces, but the game itself. The attacks, combinations, surprises, twists, turns and brilliance it produces are sometimes breathtaking. Bruce from Searching for Bobby Fisher put it best:

What is chess...? Those who play for fun or not at all dismiss it as a game. The ones who devote their lives to it... insist that it's a science. It's neither. Bobby Fischer got underneath it like no one before and found at its center, art.

Well said! If chess is art, then Yahoo chess is the street vendor selling cheap knock-offs of the masterpieces. You can play in any number of rooms against all manner of people. I prefer 5 minute, quick hitting games. Either you checkmate, get checkmated, or somebody's time runs out. No long periods watching someone stare at a board.

You can tell a lot about your opponent by their avatar. Mine is a handsome young man in a 3 piece suit with his hands in his pockets. He looks successful and inviting, confident but with nothing to prove because he does need to. The kinda guy I'd like to share a beer with. Some people go other routes. You can break down the people you meet into three types.


Silent and strange. Eschews communication no matter the circumstances. Often they have unusual avatars, like aaaafriger. His/her avatar was an asexual looking young person in a police uniform, waving his/her arms in the air. There appeared to be a yacht in the background. He/she was rated 100 points above me and promptly dispatched me, and just as quickly left the board without even a "good game" (or "gg" in Yahoo chess short hand). Where he she/went I'll never know.
Many have Asian-looking avatars, leading me to suspect that vast legions Chinese are playing chess between cyber-attacks on the Pentagon and NSA.

Taunting in victory and cursing in defeat. Make online chess interesting and often R-rated. Often dressed as a roman legionnaire or a cowboy. Misogynistic. Many blame women for losing, saying they were being distracted in various ways.
Notable is Chessterthemolester40, who after beating me three times proclaimed "you were chesstually molested!"

Kindly. Often dressed in flannel, a t-shirt, or a suit. Quick with a "gg", thank you (ty), or good luck (gl). Sometimes will try to engage you in casual conversation, occasionally will ask where you live (raising concerns). Weaker players will allow you to beat them repeatedly, increasing your rating.

1 comment:

Oregoncornhusker said...

Garronius, I simply couldn't stop laughing at your example of the obnoxious player. There, just laughed again thinking about it. Serena looked at Torby and said, "I don't know either." It's great!