There’s an issue with great chessplay, and it’s that very few of us have the ability or time to truly understand it. There’s an issue with how chess is played as well: some of the greatest mental athletes in the world are competing across boards all year round, and no one, except the truly dedicated fans, really cares.
There’s already hot international competition. Pretty much any country with a soccer/football team has chess players in the mix, so the same retarded nationalistic fever that drives that sport should apply at least partially to chess. Just recently, a dynamite Indian player, Viswanithan Anand, snagged the world championship, ending a merciless Russian (and Russian satellite) domination, previously broken only by Bobby Fischer in the 1970s.
But no one really cares.
This is due in large part to the first sentence up there: good chess is tough to understand and is therefore hard to get really worked up about. Yet, chess and its metaphors are ingrained in our culture. For example, everyone knows what it means to be a “pawn,” or that “Checkmate!” is a good way to describe a particularly satisfying victory. Continue reading