Today’s Vintage Chess Humor
Susceptible Chess Players
This pandemic has made me question the belief that chessplayers are smarter than the average Joe on the street. In fact, I don’t believe it anymore at all!
Numerous strong grandmasters that I know personally or regularly visit their blogs/twitter/facebook have publicly argued that the coronavirus is:
(A) Not real or atleast not a serious problem, OR
(B) A conspiracy, OR
(C) The beginning of the end of the world.
FIDE’s Emil Sutovsky, in the lead up to the Candidates Tournament, strongly argued something similar to (A) above. Repeatedly he wrote the most incredulous posts that flied in the face of science or facts.
So much so, that I even copied about a half dozen of them, thinking he might take them down as soon as he sobered up!
Some of the posts Sutovsky’s wrote will no doubt come back and haunt him in the future. Anyone in a position of authority and power has no right to risk the lives of others by testing his own theories!
Then there are numerous grandmasters who love the conspiracies — (B) above. The virus is man-made by the Chinese. Or the Americans…or even the Israelis! Or Aliens brought it. Or it is all about 5G! Or what ever!
I don’t want to mention any names because I think that this group is really harmless.
These players are characterized by their overthinking of any problem. When you overthink anything, it is natural that alternative and even paranoid-sounding explanations are embraced.
Finally, I know of atleast 2 grandmasters who are preparing for the world coming to an end any day now.
I think that the overwhelming majority of people just accept that it is what it is. Pandemics are nothing new to mankind. It is true that they can have devastating consequences and scare the shit out of us all.
Some of the biggest doom and gloom blockbuster films that were produced these past 20 years or so are about such catastrophies : Independence Day. Deep Impact. 2012. (just to name a few).
I ask: in these films how many hundreds of millions of innocent and helpless people were killed? As spectators, we all witnessed great destruction and probably never thought anything more about it.
TODAY, we could all be one of those people! It is scary. And I think that a kind of denial generates the options A,B, and C listed above. Some kind of human defence mechanism? Maybe. Better for all of us to wake up and get real. Coronavirus is not going away no matter who is responsible for it…