Friday, June 1, 2007

Chess misdiagnosed as a game of intellect

My brother and I were playing an intense game of chess this afternoon at a pretty sweet bar in downtown Denton, Texas, called the Jupiter. As my mom came back from antique shopping (she is an addict), she asked who was winning, adding the caveat that no matter who was winning, she would still consider us both very smart.

But while it was a kind gesture to make my brother feel better, her statement has no basis in reality. Chess is not about how book smart you are or how quickly you can do long division. It's about imposing your will on your opponent, and crushing him completely. While chess is a noble pursuit, don't make the mistake that my mom made in considering chess an intellectual game. It is a game of strength, mental fortitude, and willpower. So the next time that you beat somebody in chess and they try to give the excuse that you must have just been a little bit more alert that day, calmly explain to them that what you really did was enforce your will. That especially goes for you, Bingo.