11 October 2020

An Existential Crisis?

After this introduction...

Hello and welcome to week seven of chess month in which our team shines a light on two player games. Today we're looking at all the fun you can have with a chess board -- so this should be a short video!

...you might guess that anything can happen. And that's also what you'd expect from a Youtube channel that calls itself 'Shut Up & Sit Down'. Did he say 'chess tickles'?

Nine Easy Ways to Make Chess Fun (13:58) • '[Published on] Sep 23, 2020'

The 'Nine Easy Ways' are chess variants, including bughouse. Why variants?

If we can just put down the worthy analogies for a second, and if we can make an effort to cut through the choking cultural fog that billows off of the chess set and makes it quite hard to judge, as a game we're left with an uncomfortable truth, which is simply that playing chess is a bummer.

With nearly 100.000 views, the video attracted over 500 comments, many of them discussing other chess variants or board games. Coming on top of GM Kramnik's Nine Chess Variants (September 2020), we might conclude that chess is facing some sort of an existential crisis -- another casualty of the coronavirus.

1 comment:

Kevin Spraggett said...

There are literally hundreds of known variants of the game of chess. I grew up playing a few of them in Montreal while still a student. They were a fun way of relaxing from the 'serious' game of chess. Kriegspiel readily comes to mind.

What is happening lately, however, is worrisome to me, and I am sure to many others. They are all more conducive to fast chess. What ever happened to the idea that chess is a good game for children because it makes them think? (And if that is the case, should not the same thing hold for us adults?)

Keep up the great work,Mark. Always a pleasure reading your blogs...