If It Doesn’t Hurt You’re Not Doing It Right!

One foolproof way to spot a good victim is if someone announces that they don’t take chess too seriously and that it’s ‘only a game’. I don’t want to say too much about juxtaposing chess with Hungry Hungry Hippos as someone might get offended. But to paraphrase Bill Shankly I am very disappointed that some people seem to think chess is a matter of life and death. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.

If you want to get good at chess it has to hurt when you lose and bring a feeling of joy when you win as otherwise you won’t put the time in to honing your skills. Where do such feelings come from? It will vary from person to person though a fairly common thread might be for chess to represent a means of gaining self respect.

Here anyway is Victor Korchnoi discussing a game he played as a child with Boris Spassky. And Spassky cried when he lost.