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Thread: Chess

  1. #1
    tableau vivant MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    Chess

    In my ongoing effort at self-parody of my pseudo intellect I've taken my interest in chess from casual play to casual study. My dad taught me to play as a boy, which led to routine trouncings from my smarter big brother. I don't think I've turned down a game since (not that chess challenges are all that frequent. I haven't turned down a game of Monopoly either, and I deplore that game). Chess requires a level of focus that I generally lack. Playing feels like my brain coming up for air.

    I picked up a set a few months ago and have tired out my friends. It feels like the purest form of self-expression I've experienced. Now I play the computer a lot so I can play with openings and hastily resign without annoying somebody. I've been getting into the Queen's gambit lately. If I see a chess set when I close my eyes I generally go for a bike ride and try not to think of myself as a knight.

    Surely, some of you play. Do you play blitz? It seems like the popular game these days. What are your feelings on the game in general? Is it just a board game for people who are too cheap to buy Agricola? Is it an utter waste of mental resources? Isn't it da best?

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

  2. #2
    Regular Joe stigmatica's Avatar
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    Chess is the devils game. Nobody in my family has ever had a small enough ego to stomach defeat, including myself. My mom beat me at chess when I was a kid, and it traumatized me. It took years for my ego to recover. I did, however, develop a chess game in C++ for fun in my 20's just to mess around with the AI logic. My ego doesn't suffer if AI beats me, so I've occasionally played it on a computer. I can't remember the last time I played a real person, though. I can't handle losing. It runs in the family. We tend to only play games of chance when we get together to avoid whatever game we're playing turning into a death match.
    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    my crime is that i disrupted the echo chamber

  3. #3
    Member El D.'s Avatar
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    I love Chess, but none of my friends in southern california are very interested in playing the game. At one point I somehow had met a bunch of cool people who were into it, although I lost usually. Its something to practice thats fun and makes you sharper. I can typically stomach a loss even though it sucks.

    I've never played those other games. Chess difficult enough to master.

    Monopoly can be fun too, but you have to be a real asshole to be good at that game.

  4. #4
    Utisz's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings about chess and it about me I think.

    I used to play it in college with housemates. One of the guys used to play in small tournaments when he was younger with a decent rating. whereas the rest of us didn't: we would play ad hoc without any real strategy and he would beat us most of the time (i.e., when he didn't fuck up). Aside from him, it was pretty even ... the rest of us hadn't much of a clue except for the rules. Oh yeah and he hated playing me 'cos I could be really really slow to move mostly 'cos I hadn't a fucking clue what I was doing in general whereas he played quickly, knowing his overall strategy.

    Since then, we still play a bit online using postcard chess ... it's a great/natural way to keep in touch 'cos if you have nothing to say, you can just jibe about the game. When I started playing this way a couple of years back, I started getting into chess more because I could google book openings and follow them, and I read a bit about basic strategy like maintaining tempo, controlling the centre, benefits of castling, fianchettoing, trading when up material, that sort of core stuff. Understanding how abstract goals inform individual moves ... even if there was no short-term gain ... made the game a lot more enjoyable for me. I play the Sicilian defence a lot. Google and I are thus undefeated in postcard chess. Still though, without the crutch of Google and as-much-time-as-I-want, I still think he'd still comfortably win most face-to-face games. And in our current game, looks like he's about to break my undefeated postcard run ... I gifted him a rook early on in a fairly stupid manner. :/




    Black to move. I think I'm pretty fucked.


    Anyways I enjoy playing this postcard chess thing. Live chess I'm not so sure.

  5. #5
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    I learned to play it on a summer vacation 12 years ago at the coast. A younger boy taught me and we'd play every night. He beat me every single time, which was maddening. I only beat him the last time because he was distracted, and then we never played again.

    After that I kept playing with exes, who also usually beat me. My opponents always made their move immediately while I'd need time to ponder the game, which exasperated them a little (okay, a lot). My ex kept saying to move intuitively and not "think so much". But how? I don't know how to do that. I don't have that kind of intelligence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    I went through a phase (earlier this year / last year) when I played a lot, and I did get somewhat better, although not as much as I would have hoped. When I play my girlfriend I consistently crush her, that's enough for me.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  7. #7
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    When I play my girlfriend I consistently crush her, that's enough for me.
    If I had to choose, I'd prefer to lose most of the time than to win most of the time. (Not that I actually have to choose...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  8. #8
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    If I had to choose, I'd prefer to lose most of the time than to win most of the time. (Not that I actually have to choose...)
    She beat me once. I was handily winning the game, up a lot of material, but I wasn't particularly motivated to checkmate her, so I was content to just stall the game out and collect pieces. I find that's the best way to play against her, because she feels more of a worthwhile experience from having to play defense than from just being handily defeated. Then, I got into a tough spot, where I realized I might have to lose a piece. Unwilling to lose a piece, I unwittingly opened up my king to attack, and gave her an easy mate in 2. She missed it the first time, but eventually saw it the second time.

    I was thrilled! It made me very happy to see her win, and not because I cruelly let her - because she saw an opportunity and capitalized. I was proud of her and told her so.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  9. #9
    tableau vivant MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post

    After that I kept playing with exes, who also usually beat me. My opponents always made their move immediately while I'd need time to ponder the game, which exasperated them a little (okay, a lot). My ex kept saying to move intuitively and not "think so much". But how? I don't know how to do that. I don't have that kind of intelligence.
    My ex is a super slow player. I think she was using my impatience against me. The only times she'd beat me (at chess) were when I'd move hastily and miss something I made a point to remember at the start of her previous turn. She won all the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    I went through a phase (earlier this year / last year) when I played a lot, and I did get somewhat better, although not as much as I would have hoped. When I play my girlfriend I consistently crush her, that's enough for me.
    I think it's another thing you have to put in the work as a ten year old to master. Move onto crossword puzzles, old man.
    Last edited by MoneyJungle; 07-12-2014 at 02:33 AM.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

  10. #10
    Ciao for now jamesgold's Avatar
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    mojun let's play online. i was master of my elementary school chess club.

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