Has anyone ever given up chess?

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Arshad Ali
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Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Arshad Ali » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:52 pm

Does anyone here know anyone who's given up chess for good? I mean players of at least club strength. I recall an acquaintance of mine here in Minneapolis storming out of the playing hall over ten years back after being trounced by a couple of low-rated juniors; his face beetroot red, his eyes valiantly holding back tears of self-pity, and his voice in falsetto pitch as he announced, "I'm never playing again; that's it." Yet I see that after a lengthy hiatus he's just recently taken part in another tournament.

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:15 pm

The strongest player I can think of offhand is Neil Bradbury, who seemed to give up competitive chess completely.

I have an embarrassing story regarding Neil - In the National Club Open Competion one year (around 1987) Hackney were drawn against a strong Scottish Club. It was decided that the distance between the clubs made travelling out of the question, so it was arranged that the games would be played by phone. I was one of the gophers who communicated the Scottish players' moves to our players.

Neil was playing on board 1, and after a few moves his opponent blundered a pawn. I gave Neil's move to the Hackney telephone operator, who read it out to his Scottish counterpart, only to be told that the move played was illegal. It turned out that I had cocked-up - I had told Neil the wrong first move some fifteen minutes and half a dozen moves earlier (I think the Scottish guy played 1.c4 and I mis-read it as 1.e4). After a rather heated discussion between the captains it was decided to start Neil's game again, but I don't think he ever forgave me.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:39 am

James Howell got the GM title and then gave up completely, not just competitive chess, but anything associated with chess.

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Andy Burnett
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Andy Burnett » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:11 am

Matthew Turner wrote:James Howell got the GM title and then gave up completely, not just competitive chess, but anything associated with chess.
Any idea why?

There was a young Scottish player, an FM, who gave up chess apparently because he had 'found religion'.

Simon Spivack
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Simon Spivack » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:39 pm

Andy Burnett wrote:... gave up chess apparently because he had 'found religion'.
I can recall three individuals who have forsaken the worship of Caissa for a more divine being. Bill Raines, previously a leading organiser of Athenaeum Chess Club, he became a vicar (Anglican, I think, but I could be wrong); Stephen Quigley, formerly of Islington Chess Club, who has been mentioned in the History forum recently, he became very religious in the 1980s; and Graeme Wilson, also of Athenæum, he was training to be a Minister of the Kirk (the Church of Scotland, not the Wee Frees, never mind the Wee, Wee Frees) in the 1990s.

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John Saunders
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by John Saunders » Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:04 pm

More divine than Caissa? Simon, I'm shocked, particularly coming from you as amongst the wisest of the wise of our holy men. Chess is a religion. That said, I do not number myself amongst the fundamentalist members of the forum who seem to think that non-attendance at regular service (hence absence from the Grading List) disqualifies one from being considered a devout and pious believer. But no more blasphemy, please.
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Arshad Ali
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Arshad Ali » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:51 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:James Howell got the GM title and then gave up completely, not just competitive chess, but anything associated with chess.
Bravo. So it can be done. I'm trying to do it myself but have belatedly realised chess is a big part of my being. I'm not talking of the aesthetic pleasures the game affords; I mean it's part of the warp-and-woof of my make-up and exorcising it will mean a big hole in the firmament of my being. But if a GM can do it, then so can a humble non-entity like myself.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:54 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:
Matthew Turner wrote:James Howell got the GM title and then gave up completely, not just competitive chess, but anything associated with chess.
Bravo. So it can be done. I'm trying to do it myself but have belatedly realised chess is a big part of my being. I'm not talking of the aesthetic pleasures the game affords; I mean it's part of the warp-and-woof of my make-up and exorcising it will mean a big hole in the firmament of my being. But if a GM can do it, then so can a humble non-entity like myself.
I wonder if it is possible to develop a genuine psychological phobia of chess (or chess pieces?)... :lol:

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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by John Moore » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Matthew Turner wrote:
James Howell got the GM title and then gave up completely, not just competitive chess, but anything associated with chess.
Hi Matthew

I'll see your James Howell and raise you Valery Salov.

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John Saunders
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by John Saunders » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:39 pm

To answer the question posed by the thread title: "no". Once a chessplayer, always a chessplayer. These guys Howell and Salov might think they've beaten the addiction but they'll come crawling back sooner or later. Maybe they already have come back, playing online chess under a pseudonym or sneaking into their local libraries to read a chess column. Once the chess virus has bitten, it's with you for life. Don't fight it, guys, you can't win. Just relax, sit back in your chair and a nice nurse will bring you a copy of The Guardian with Leonard Barden's column in it or perhaps a lovely book of a super-GM's best games. There, now - you feel better already, don't you...
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John Moore
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by John Moore » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:03 pm

Piket - although maybe he still plays correspondence :lol:

Warren Kingston

Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Warren Kingston » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:53 pm

I have dreamt chess, is that bad? Do I need to see a doctor?

BrianRobinson
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by BrianRobinson » Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:10 pm

I think my problem is that chess is giving up on me!

Simon Spivack
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Re: Has anyone ever given up chess?

Post by Simon Spivack » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:02 pm

John Saunders wrote:More divine than Caissa? Simon, I'm shocked, particularly coming from you as amongst the wisest of the wise of our holy men. Chess is a religion. That said, I do not number myself amongst the fundamentalist members of the forum who seem to think that non-attendance at regular service (hence absence from the Grading List) disqualifies one from being considered a devout and pious believer. But no more blasphemy, please.
John and I must be the two most serious posters here. I find it very upsetting when the suggestion, unvoiced and unwritten, is made that a subject of Her Britannic Majesty be subjected to the same humiliation as the Romans suffered at Caudine Forks. What will happen to Britain's strategic spear pile? I have, instead, opted to subject myself to nine of the best at the London Classic this December.

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