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Chess, Stereotypes & PersonalityChess is a challenging game that requires great mental effort to succeed in at the higher levels.

To make sense of the people who play this perplexing game, non-chess players can use shortcuts to make sense of chess players through stereotyping. These people may ask themselves, “What kind of person spends his or her weekends hunched over a chess board rather than having fun?”

I have heard many stereotypes for chess players over my more than 10 years as a tournament chess player: nerdy, intellectual, socially awkward, quirky, quiet, and crazy.

3 Comments to
Chess, Stereotypes & Personality

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  1. We played asynchronous chess games in my office for a while. The board was set up in a public area, and the two people playing would make their moves when taking a break form work. A game might last a week. It was also a bit of a spectator sport – other people would congregate around the board and chat about the possible strategies each player might try. People arranged ahead of time to play the winner in the next game. It was a nice way to draw people together and was actually a lot of fun. When I taught in junior high, the kids got to play chess at lunchtime or if they finished their work early, and they dove right into it happily, with clusters of kids around the players. Some of my early memories with my dad are of him teaching me how chess pieces move.

    So cognitive development and discipline aside (which I think are great), there can actually be some nice social aspects to this very cerebral game for those who play casually.

  2. A beautifully written piece, and its style quickly exposes the qualities the author acquires when studying and practicing chess – clarity, economy, simplicity in execution, and the flair for a neat ending. Within the large body of chess literature, readers need more of this type of writing that deals directly with psycho-analysis of chess and negating misconceptions.

  3. Chess is challenging, but what does it say for those of us for whom games (chess, Monopoy, and the like) are a source of tedium and boredom? My son loves both, and I try to play with him, but I can’t stand either.

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