Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Conduct: Good Sportsmanship, Morals, and Learning
DRAFT / DRAFT / DRAFT / subject to review by WOCC board / DRAFT / DRAFT
Played as a serious game, competitive chess while sedentary can be quite tense in nature.
Performed at a high level you must not only evaluate hundreds--if not thousands--of combinations and postions, but this must be done not only quickly, but accurately for a sustained period of time. As is well know in these circles, one bad move, and its OVER.
Then you are seated across from someone, for hours at a time, and cannot help but be affected by their state of mind, or conduct. Think about this.
Nevermind chess, but the much broader arena of life is filled with costs, benefits, and costs. Risk is everywhere, and while it can to an extent can be controlled, cannot completely done so. And the process of playing chess and the process of engaging our opponent is a small labority within which to do so.
Playing chess for two or three hours is s significant investment of time and energy. You might have worked all day and come straight to the club or tournament hall without letup; your opponent might have left spouses or children to face you across the board, or feel anxiety when there is a history of other battles with you or imbalance of skills or ability.
If it is true as Kasparov said that 'Chess is mental torture', it has never been encouraged to torture your opponent off the board. Well OK, if its not tortune, then disturbance if you will.
Then the clubhouse. Chess in a club such as ours is a real priviledge. Let it be remembered please, that membership is a priviledge not a right. Lets cherish this place and each other. Let there be good sportsmanship (Wikipedia, link at left).
It is not hard to be disruptive. Making faces, banging pieces, hitting the clock, making other noises, side talk or little comments, standing too close over the shoulder of another tables player, maing faces, all that is not what a good sportsman does.
We want to keep it positive. We are not a formal club. We are serious, but are friendly and do everything possible to keep it that way.
Take a moment and visit the webpages of some high level professional golf webpages. Sometimes, in the upper left, outside FAQ  is a note on code of conduct. Whereas golf can involve wearing spiked shoes and swing a metal club which is capable of great destruction, chess can be just a board and a clock. Why should we be any less?
 FAQ, abrev for 'Frequently asked questions'.