Retire Or Fade Away?

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:


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: