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 [1] 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?

[1] FAQ, abrev for 'Frequently asked questions'.


Lev D. Zilbermints said...

I would point out that in chess, many players grimace or make a face, even if they are unaware of it themselves. Suggest you stand and watch a few games in progress. You will see how the players' facial expressions change over the course of the game. One could even call it an unconscious response.

When it comes to hitting the clock, might I point out that you never mention the time limit? Obviously, in a Game/10 the standards might be a bit different than in a Game/100. This is because the time pressure is greater in games with faster time controls. And what happens when you are in time pressure?

You cannot legislate everything. A good dose of common sense is in order.

transformation said...

Lev, thank you for your comment. This is appreciated.

The purpose of a blog is ether to educate or, at times, to provoke.

Provocation is not always a matter or antagonism, but duly to elicit dialogue.

To the extent that your is the very first comment since this blog was resuscitated where a real sustained thought was put in place, it might be suggested that the seeds of furtherance could be sprouting.

Along those lines, in doing so, might be succeeding in its purpose--as in to engage members while promoting ourselves or making our selves better available to new members.

This blog is not truth. And just as Karl Popper suggests, in his well regarded treatise, 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery', cum 'The Open Society and its Enemies', there is in Occidental philosophy much confusion as to the difference between truth versus accuracy.

Nice to see you, and hope to continue seeing you here.

Thank you Lev