Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What this Web Log is not.

Chess is the most popular unusual hobby. I read some where that FIDE is one of the largest sport/gaming clubs in the world, beaten only by the world's soccer association and the Olympic organization. That being said... it's amazing how strange our game is to outsiders. I get looks of sheer puzzlement when guests in our house see the rows of chess books on my shelf. "How can you read a book about chess?"

Reactions like this, for whatever reason, put me on the defensive. It makes me feel rather dorky -- as if something is wrong with me. Thus, I am especially prone to not trash talk or belittle someone else's excitement about a given subject or topic -- especially when it is related to chess. However, one thing that ceases to amaze me is people's fascination with chess players. Chess is exciting to me. The struggle, the ups, the downs, the strategy are all thrilling. Following individual chess players is much less so. It is the game that is exciting -- playing it. Watching someone play it is exciting, but far much less. To me it is equivalent to baseball. I love to play it, but would never watch a game on television.

But there is a large portion of the chess world that seems to disagree. Each high-rated player, alive or dead, has large "cults" that spend hours on end celebrating their greatness. is one of the best chess sites around. I love it. But what fascinates me is the content of much of the postings found there -- a good portion of them are part of this chess player worship. "Kasparov has backed out of blah, blah, blah tournament," "Fischer of 72 could easily have beaten Steintz," "Susan Polgar has appeared on so and so television show," etc.

Again noting that I respect everyone's interests, let me just say -- I don't friggin' care!!! The web log will not fall prey to such hero worship. Oh, GM's will come up and names will be mentioned, but only because I found a game of there's interesting. A NN vs. NN blitz chess game is equally likely to be posted here than a dreamed 2005 Kasparov vs. Fischer match.