“We are born and we die; and between these two most important events of our lives more or less time elapses which we have to waste somehow or other. In the end it does not seem to matter much whether we have done so in making money, or practising law, or reading or playing, or in any other way, as long as we felt we were deriving a maximum of happiness out of our doings. ”
Boring Bob will be the cynical customer.
Sexy Susan will be the sales representative selling chess enthusiastically.
Boring BobWhy would I want to play chess? I mean its like watching paint dry after all isnt it?
Well, where do I start? The game can be very beautiful when you get to know it better. You can play beautiful sacrifices and combinations to make beautiful games. You can have the satisfaction of outwitting your opponent tactically or positionally.You can enjoy watching your chess grade go up year after year, because there is a grading system both nationally and internationally. This can give you a tremendous sense of achievement.
But it takes ages doesnt it. You have to sit there for ages just for your opponents reply.
There is a wide range of time-limits which you can play chess to. For example if you wanted a quick game, then there is what is know as "blitz" chess which can be from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. But also when your opponent is thinking, you can still try and second guess your opponents reply and make plans in preparation.
But even to learn the moves would take ages wouldnt it? And then theres all those fancy words to learn. I mean with the game of pool for example, you can get into it immediately.
No, learning the moves and terminology can be learnt in a very short time. After learning the basic rules, there are excellent teaching resources on the web such as the Play better ... Chess Videos section, and there are excellent playing sites like one so whatever level that you are at, you can find an opponent which you have a chance of beating and start building your confidence up.
But then theres all those openings to learn which would take ages and would not be very interesting would it?
You can choose openings which suit your style and personality. Some openings you may find more dull than others. If you're really worried about having to know loads of theory, you can avoid certain lines. The important thing is to know the principles and themes behind the moves. Then the moves will follow naturally.
Some people do get enjoyment from the vast amount of opening theory there is in chess, because they are in search of the "ultimate truth". Because chess is much more complex than say noughts and crosses, the "ultimate truth" is very difficult if not impossible to arrive at. But this simply adds to the enjoyment of the game! Top grandmasters are "discussing" opening ideas when they play each other. They add value to the existing opening theory which has to evolve in order to search for the truth.
Also nowadays, with resources like the Play better ... Master Collection, you can enjoy games which are played even hundreds of years ago!
But what will chess give me which will be useful in other areas? I mean its just a game after all.
Well to be a good chess player, you have to develop your talents as a manager, an artist, a competitor, a logical thinker, a psychologist, and a team player to name but a few.
I don't believe you! How can chess for example be useful for your managerial skills?
Well in some games, you can use a beautiful sacrifice which your opponents and on-lookers didnt expect, or it can be a systematic accumulation of small advantages to accomplish your overall goal, which you look back at that game like an Artist looks back at his masterpiece. And because there is a notation for writing down your game, you share it with chess friends and other people that also have an interest in the game. Nowadays you can even publish them on the Internet to share them with the world!
Well okay, but how is chess competitive? I mean after all its played between two eighty year pensioners with false teeth who have got no better way to spend their afternoons.
Well chess is becoming a young persons game with most grandmasters in their twenties. There are lots of tournaments being organised every year on letsplaychess.com. There are also lots of clubs which you can join which have leagues and cups, and trophies to be won.
Playing for a chess club or one of the teams on ChessWorld can give you a flavour of team comradry, and team effort. Chess will provide you with an interesting "escape" It can take your mind off everyday problems, and take you into its own world and thus help you relax. [It can also be a good excuse to the wife for getting out of the house, in order to go down the pub later with the chess clan :-) ]
But dont just listen to me, about what I think, have a look at some famous chess quotes from people that have really played enjoyed the game to a high level.
Well I might give it a try. Maybe theres more to chess than meets the eye.
But maybe The Start! of your Chess enjoyment! :)