28 Apr 2010

Noli me tangere

All this silence and handshaking business is so silly.

The spirit of chess as a game seems to have gone totally by the board. Pun intended.
In the olden days players at important matches would set their OTB differences aside and go out for a meal together afterwards.

Remember Carlsen in London? After a game against a not-so-brilliant player (Dutch, but I'm mentioning no names) he asked the chap about a certain move that had come up during their game. It was obvious that this was pure love of chess that spurred him on to bring this up. Not so for his opponent, who blankly refused to share any research. As if Carlsen needed any help from him.

This little incident made me really sad. Is it the money? The glory? What causes people to shed their humanity when they play chess?

I don't believe it is a matter of manners alone.It seems that for the soul behind the player it is no longer safe to show its face.

1 comment:

Mr_Toad said...

I touched on this a little in a post at "Celebrate Chess" in which I talk about a lady whose "quest was to play a tournament in all 50 states"!

Here's an excerpt from one of her posts, thus:

"All the sloppy piece placement and clock slapping was starting to annoy me, but I wasn't going to get into it with him. However I was on the verge of losing it when he plays 41...Bd3 and takes his hand off and then grabs the piece again to move it elsewhere. I said "You took your hand off the piece, you have to leave it there." He continues to hold on to the bishop and says "I want to think about it." I tell him there is nothing to think about, he has to leave the bishop on d3. He puts the bishop back on b5 and keeps telling me to stop it, stop it. The funny thing was at that point I wasn't saying anything. If he wanted to use his time to think about a move he was going to have to play that was fine with me. He had about a 10 minute time advantage, so any free time would make me happy. However I was prepared to stop the clock and get the TD if he tried to make any move except Bd3. At this point we've drawn a bit of a crowd. Everyone likes a good chess argument. This had the makings of becoming a good one".

Wonderful stuff and well worth a read IMHO! Her full post is at I Can't Make This Stuff Up!.