I have been heavily involved in the chess scene since 2002. I have met all sorts of chess enthusiasts along the way, both in real life and online. Chess seems to mean a little something different to each person I talk to, and I find that extremely interesting.
For many, chess is simply the game itself. They are interested in every opening variation and line, every endgame technique, every grandmaster game played past and present, tactics training, and any trap and zap they can get their hands on. Folks like that tend to master the game, I find.
Then there are the historians who aren’t necessarily interested in playing the actual game of chess. They are more interested in how the game came about, the life and times of all the old masters, stories and anecdotes, and anything peculiar they can find about the game or its players.
Then there are the folks like me. We like the best of both worlds, so we never get all the facts and we never master the game. Because my I.Q. isn’t 200 and I have limited talent for chess, I prefer a 50/50 mix of historical neatos and actual chess game knowledge.
My favorite player is Alexander Alekhine, and I do try to find out anything and everything I can about the man. Other past masters I really enjoy are Keres, Fischer, Wojo, Janowski, Reshevsky, Fine, and really, almost any of them except Capablanca and Botvinnik. Personal reasons.
So, what does chess mean to you? Are you like me and enjoy all aspects of the game, including history and current events? Or are you more the type who focuses in on generally one area and really becomes knowledgeable in it?