Winning and losing at chess is extremley different than winning and losing in most games. I enjoy a good variety of sports such as basketball, martial arts and even paintball. Winning and losing in these sports is VERY different than the outcome of chess.
Don’t even mention losing to me. I can’t stand to think of it. – Bobby Fischer
When I play basketball and I lose, I can simply blame it on external things such as speed, strength, height, coordination, or whatever else the case may be. External things, however, is not usually used to describe who we are at our core. We believe that there is much more to a person than their physical characteristics and know people much better when we learn about their beliefs, values and other internal characterstics. Our personality and our morals is not defined by our weight, height, strength or speed.
Unlike a phsyical sport, a loss to a chess player questions qualities such as their logic, their open-mindedness, their creativity, their ability to solve problems. It is an insult to who they are as a person when a seroius chess player loses a chess game. Because the game is much more internalized, the outcome of the game can have a much greater value than the outcome of a game of a physical sport.
The less one studies chess, the less intense the outcome of the game is. Even though people could invest a lot of effort into any game and would be passionate about the outcome, the personal connections one has to a chess game intensifies the experience.
This description of the seriousness of a loss in chess only refers to extremely serious players. Not all chess players are this crazy, but I do think to be a good chess player, one is compelled to explore the boundaries of their sanity a little.
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