Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fw: Article on Chess by Stephen Moss (27 Feb.-- 5 March 2015)

Sent: Monday, March 02, 2015 9:33 AM
Subject: Article on Chess by Stephen Moss (27 Feb.-- 5 March 2015)

The time spent arguing whether chess is an art or a game could be better spent playing chess.  Was Bobby Fischer an eccentric artist, or a sadistic gamester, whose favorite moment was breaking an opponent's ego? (Fischer invariably referred to them as "patzers," whom he would "crush" or "kill.") Yet who could deny that his combinations and sacrifices were not art? Moreover, there is no such thing as luck in winning a game of chess---unless your opponent is unlucky enough to experience a stroke or a heart attack during a game.

              As an inveterate chess addict, I can attest to that sinking feeling when one loses a queen or falls into a mating trap. On the other hand, winning a chess game is definitely pleasurable, uplifting, arguably the next best sensation next to an orgasm. And if one is too fragile, too sensitive, to face a checkmate by another human being, I recommend confining one's chess opponent to a personal computer. When you win, "congratulations!" appears on the screen, while when you lose, a message of consolation appears: "Sorry. Better luck next time!" And believe me, this is something you will never hear from a human victor.

 Les Dreyer

180 West End Ave. NYC 10023 USA

Attention Fact-Checker:  I watched Bobby Fischer play at the Manhattan Chess Club many times. Fortunately for my fragile ego, I never played him---even when he offered to spot me a rook and 2 pawns!