Character traits Chess
precisely do you need to be a very good player? Well, obsession
, motivation and competitiveness should be your strong points
. It is really interesting to note that there are players
who have spent years playing the game but have come nowhere
near mastery over it. They seem to be totally absorbed in
the goings-on , but seldom bother about the results. These
players are greatly obsessed with chess, but have little motivation
, and even less competitiveness. They are true chess lovers
who do not seek anything other than pleasure. So you might
now understand why the chess addicts you know never win tournaments
or even bother to play competitive chess. They need an outlet
for realising the 'psychological wastes' produced in the course
of a life full of drudgery. They need a little excitement
, some deviation from a highly structured life to recharge
themselves. Chess is more than an intoxicant to these 'harmless'
what about the players having a degree of motivation too?
Yes, they usually look for something in return and set some
goals , not always realistic though, and try to attain them
. Most of the tournament players fall in this category. To
them , chess is more than fun or a time wasting pursuit which
does not enjoy great social recognition, They do not become
champions, but may reach a reasonably good level of playing
It is the third trait, that is, competitiveness which perhaps
marks off the champion from the ordinary lot. It might mean
a desire to win or a killer instinct which keeps a player
on the winning track over the board. Curiously enough, even
champions do not possess these virtues in the same measure.
For example, chess was never an obsession to world champion
Emanuel Lasker. He could keep himself off the board for years
together without showing the withdrawal symptoms. JR Capablanca
, on the other hand , lacked the motivation of a real champion,
though he was an exceptionally gifted player. But Alekhine
was different. He was fiercely competitive and greatly obsessed
with the game. So intense was his look that players even complained
that they came under some sort of hypnotic influence while
facing the great master!
Here is a game played by Alekhine with great energy and dynamism.
Black Aaron Nimzowitsch [C17]
San Remo 1930
2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 Ne7 6.Nb5 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 00
8.c3 b6? 9.f4 Ba6 10.Nf3 Qd7 11.a4! Nbc6 12.b4!± cxb4
13.cxb4 Bb7 14.Nd6± f5?! 15.a5! Nc8 16.Nxb7 Qxb7 17.a6!
Qf7 18.Bb5! N8e7 19.00 h6 20.Rfc1 Rfc8 21.Rc2 Qe8 22.Rac1
Rab8 23.Qe3 Rc7 24.Rc3 Qd7 25.R1c2 Kf8 26.Qc1 Rbc8 27.Ba4!
b5 28.Bxb5 Ke8 29.Ba4 Kd8 30.h4! h5 31.Kh2 g6 32.g3+- 1-0
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