The issue of chess retirement came up recently with Vishwanathan Anand’s claim that Garry Kasparov regrets quitting chess. Whether or not this is true I just don’t know, but it does seem hard for chess players to find anything to match the excitement of competitive chess. And I’m not being ironic when I say that, competitive chess can be tremendously exciting. When you do it with appropriate seriousness it’s like a duel to the death. You don’t normally get that with an office job.
This may be why chess players who retire seem to find it difficult to return to ‘normal life’, something like retired soldiers. All their senses are geared to combat rather than cooperation, war rather than peace. And perhaps this indicates the answer to retirement versus fading away. The latter is better because you phase yourself out gradually rather than going cold turkey.
Here anyway is how John Rambo coped with returning home. It makes one realize how well we former chess professionals are managing: