SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Let’s face it: we are exactly where we should be in life! Yes, of course, we’ve all tried hard and worked to achieve success with the resources within our reach BUT ….something got in the way. It’s called LIFE. Perhaps we can articulate more precisely what happened: bad luck; a tsunami; an accident. Or perhaps it was just that others more talented or who worked harder got the better jobs and the better breaks.
REGARDLESS, it means little in the big scheme of things as long as you refuse to admit defeat and keep putting one foot in front of the other. We may not achieve all of our objectives, but happiness should not depend on what we don’t have : happiness is about finding satisfaction with what we have right now.
That being said, let us never forget that as chessplayers ultimate responsibility falls on each of us: we are what we are! Or as one of my favourite bloggists writes ”We are what we play”!
A devout vegetarian, except at the board!
I recommend my readers to visit ChessInTranslation on a regular basis. Plenty of material for the student of the game. Today appeared the first part of a sort of unusual interview with one of the strongest grandmasters in the world today: Lev Aronian.
What makes the interview so amusing are the unusal questions that are put to Aronian, and –ofcourse–his often witty answers that don’t pull punches or beat around the bush.
When asked if he was aware that –amongst all of the world’s leading grandmasters–Aronian has the lowest drawing record, he answered:
”So I’ve been found out. Yes, that’s how I am, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll give it a go.
I think the thing here is my diet. For 11 years now I haven’t eaten any mammals – although it’s well-known that I’m a person with a bloodthirsty nature.
So then, sitting down to play a game and, metaphorically speaking, meeting an animal face-to-face, I experience nostalgia and try to get my fill of blood in those short moments.”
On Gelfand winning the Candidates:
”I think Boris deserved this win. He’s a man who treats chess with great reverence, and who works a lot… and is very, you might say, patient with it.
You know, it’s easy to work when you can see an immediate return, but he’s had difficult periods, and still to believe in yourself and try to keep working despite that… I’m very, very glad for him, that his dedication and love for the game has borne fruit.
This success shows that there’s chess longevity in his blood!”
On his second, Sergei Movsesian:
”He’s a typical representative of the Caucasus school of chess, which is distinguished by terrifying fighting spirit, natural talent, an absolute ignorance of theory, optimism and incurable laziness.
Some decided to combat that laziness, while others, like Sergei, have decided to make an effort once every couple of years. Having had a quick glance at the chessboard a couple of years ago he docked in 2750 rating waters, and then decided to go on vacation.
Given that recently we’ve been working together I don’t think there’ll be long to wait for a second coming.”
Replying to those who label Aronian ”a trickster’:
”It’s good to learn that in my play people see such varied techniques that I’ve never noticed myself.
Is tricky play my style? If that was true, then I don’t think I’d ever have had the opportunity to tell people about it.
The majority of players at the top level use the tactical motifs you call tricks in their play, but I’m sure that in the overwhelming percentage of cases it isn’t done to the detriment of their position.”
There is a lot more at Chess In Translation.