Ken Rogoff On Chess Addiction

Here’s a fascinating interview with International Chess Grandmaster turned leading economist, Ken Rogoff. What distinguishes him from most of his fellow addicts is that he was able to take a step back at one point and rationally consider his alternatives. And it looks like he made a good choice.

As a fellow addict I can really identify with his comments about the fascination and excitement of chess, when you do it right there’s nothing quite like it. For the duration of a game the chess board becomes a gladiatorial arena in which you have to kill or be killed. Is it any wonder that some of us end up preferring this as a way of life to working in a bank?

Of course the choice to do chess isn’t always quite as stark as this. There are many Grandmasters who continue with their addiction whilst making a decent living. And they usually seem happy enough.

Here’s one of Rogoff’s wins against fellow American Jack Peters.