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.


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: