I have no personal appreciation for chess – I only know the bare mechanics of the game. Listening the commentary was strangely fascinating.
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Ditto. I love listening to people discuss in-depth details of a subject I know very little about because I get a feel for how much I don’t know beyond the surface.
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I know how to play chess, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never won a game in my life.
I was particularly impressed with the Schlieffen strategy, despite its failure. However, the Maginot defense ultimately proved to be obsolete before it even got a chance to shine.
I’m a slightly above average amateur, in that I will win more often than I will lose when playing against other amateurs. I mostly rely on my tactical prowess, like being able to calculate likely material gains/losses over the next few moves, or setting sneaky traps. But my strategic prowess is sorely lacking. Kasparov working so long to get his knight to a5? That never would have struck me as something worth pursuing because there’s no immediate return for it.
This video made me want to start learning things like that, though. I go through phases of playing a lot for awhile, then playing little or not at all for awhile. It’s been a while since I’ve played, and I think this video may have kicked off a new round of playing a lot, at least for a few weeks or months.
Hearing people discuss various openings in chess always makes me think of The Princess Bride:
[Both characters are engaged in a sword fight]
Inigo Montoya: You are using Bonetti’s Defense against me, ah?
Man in Black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo Montoya: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Ferro?
Man in Black: Naturally… but I find that Thibault cancels out Capa Ferro. Don’t you?
Inigo Montoya: Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa… which I have.
I know that’s not exactly how chess works, but it sure sounds like it sometimes. Especially when openings end up transposing into others, like the English transposing into the Queen’s Gambit.
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