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Intuition
30-05-2007, 03:04 PM
From my obervations over the limited time I have been playing chess, it seems that chess players in GENERAL seem to have more mental health issues than the community at large.. Fischer is a prime example of this... Is this my imagination? does chess make ppl insane..or is it that 'insane' ppl are drawn/attracted to chess to find 'peace' from thier own issues or for theraputic puposes?? :hmm:

Ian Rout
30-05-2007, 03:40 PM
I don't think you can talk about
chess players in GENERALand then cite Fischer as a representative example. Fischer is one of the best (some say THE best) of all time, not a typical or general chess player. Moreover while many people would say that Fischer is mad in a colloquial sense I'm not aware that he has ever been certified insane.

What example of insanity have you observed among among general chess players, without naming names?

Spiny Norman
30-05-2007, 03:53 PM
What example of insanity have you observed among among general chess players, without naming names?
Just scouting around this board for 10-15 minutes would provide you with enough material to have a conference on the subject ... :owned:

MichaelBaron
30-05-2007, 03:53 PM
From my obervations over the limited time I have been playing chess, it seems that chess players in GENERAL seem to have more mental health issues than the community at large.. :

Agreed :)

Trent Parker
30-05-2007, 04:05 PM
INsane people play chess

Chess does not make people insane!

Axiom
30-05-2007, 04:14 PM
Chess keeps people sane!

frog
30-05-2007, 05:20 PM
Hi All,

From my observations and personal experience the only thing which can make you insane re chess is if you try to be a Chess Administrator and attempt to organise a chess tournament - then you have all the ingredients of a possible insanity plea - " but your honour I was just trying to organise a chess tournament " replied by Judge " fair enough I understand Off you go then"!!

Regards to ALL

eclectic
30-05-2007, 05:30 PM
chess has made me so insane i've lost all sense of identity! :owned:

Basil
30-05-2007, 06:27 PM
From my obervations over the limited time I have been playing chess, it seems that chess players in GENERAL seem to have more mental health issues than the community at large.. Fischer is a prime example of this... Is this my imagination? does chess make ppl insane..or is it that 'insane' ppl are drawn/attracted to chess to find 'peace' from thier own issues or for theraputic puposes?? :hmm:
I, for one, am a raving loony.

Further, I comfortable and safe in asserting that with no known exceptions, each and every one of you is also broadly one or more of dysfunctional, anti-social, arrogant, insular, unworldy pointy-head.

I think we make an excellent team! :P

ER
30-05-2007, 07:29 PM
I comfortable and safe in asserting that with no known exceptions, each and every one of you is also broadly one or more of dysfunctional, anti-social, arrogant, insular, unworldy pointy-head.


was it by coincidence you left out lefty and clown?:lol:
Cheers and good luck!

ESFC1881
30-05-2007, 08:48 PM
Obviously posted without reading ANY other threads on this site:D

Aaron Guthrie
30-05-2007, 09:05 PM
Insane in the brain!

Rincewind
30-05-2007, 10:48 PM
My unsubstantiated opinion is...

Competition chess does cause the mind a good deal more stress than one might imagine. The upshot is those who play competition chess are at a higher mental stress level for longer periods than the general population. This could lead to a higher incident of presentation of mental health concerns, even if the chess players are not more greatly predisposed to mental health problems than the general population.

Secondly, I think the intellectual competitive nature of chess tends to attract people with certain sorts of mental disorders or predispositions of the same. This is because the nature of the game is attractive to some of these individuals, not because chess had a causal role to play in manifestation of the illness.

So I guess I would agree. Chess players are a weird mob. Some of that is because the pressures of competitive chess can make you weird. But also because chess itself attracts a weird element.

Kevin Bonham
30-05-2007, 11:06 PM
It's also possible that people with mental issues are more likely to have more spare time on their hands and hence are more likely to pursue non-work interests.

But I doubt that chessplayers are much more likely to have such issues than the general population.

In my view, Fischer went mad (I'm assuming he is although he appears to have never sought treatment) not because of the game but because he had nothing else. More "well-rounded" world champions, even those who list their hobbies as marxism and stamp collecting, would be less at risk.

Rincewind
30-05-2007, 11:25 PM
This thread reminds me of a quote of John Littlewood's whichgoes something like...

Mathematics is a dangerous profession; an appreciable proportion of us go mad.

Littlewood was a very interesting guy and his Miscellany is a pretty good read.

zigzag
31-05-2007, 10:15 AM
From my obervations over the limited time I have been playing chess, it seems that chess players in GENERAL seem to have more mental health issues than the community at large.

I would say this is false. The general community has more mental health problems than they are willing to admit. Our society as a whole likes to sweep mental health under the carpet. It would appear that the chess community is more willing to accept people with mental health issues ,which makes them more compassionate than general society.

Capablanca-Fan
31-05-2007, 11:56 AM
It's also possible that people with mental issues are more likely to have more spare time on their hands and hence are more likely to pursue non-work interests.

But I doubt that chessplayers are much more likely to have such issues than the general population.

Seems most unlikely, esp. given how diverse the chess community is.


In my view, Fischer went mad (I'm assuming he is although he appears to have never sought treatment) not because of the game but because he had nothing else.

Kasparov said much the same: Fischer is an example of single-minded devotion to one thing then abandoning this one thing that gave his life meaning.


More "well-rounded" world champions, even those who list their hobbies as marxism and stamp collecting, would be less at risk.

Yeah, people know about Fischer's loony ideas, but probably couldn't even mention more than half a dozen other great players, let alone have any idea about their lives. Most of the champs have been perfectly sane.

Metro
31-05-2007, 07:56 PM
I think chess attracts "obsessives"'.
A Russian player at Elwood CC says "Chess is a drug".
I am reminded of an Indian saying,"An empty mind is the devils workshop".
At least by playing chess one is occupied(and thinking).


Does chess make people insane? No.

Aaron Guthrie
31-05-2007, 08:01 PM
Chess does have a social aspect. Perhaps this aspect can even have a postitive influence on some peoples mental stability!

Southpaw Jim
31-05-2007, 09:20 PM
I think it attracts a certain proportion of the population who have issues with feelings of intellectual inferiority - evidenced by some of the malcontents on this board and the people who cheat online. Other than that, pretty standard slice of the population in terms of mental health I think.

ElevatorEscapee
31-05-2007, 10:41 PM
Soletny, nyuk nyuk nyuk! :)

Intuition
01-06-2007, 12:41 PM
Nice range of opinions...the verdit seems to be that chess plays a bigger role in keeping people sane rather than making them insane... However I cant say that this applies to the people with overly big ego's and who cant deal well with defeat (argubly why fischer never played again after becoming world champ)... since you will loose and be outplayed forever..no matter how good you ever get maybe it would be good to switch games to something like poker so that you can blame defeat on luck rather than yourself :) ...important to remeber its only a game and doesnt define your life so its not worth getting stressed about...happy chessing :owned:

Capablanca-Fan
01-06-2007, 02:39 PM
A Russian player at Elwood CC says "Chess is a drug".

Perhaps he means "chess is a friend" but forgot to translate ;)

WhiteElephant
01-06-2007, 02:59 PM
I love this thread. Very entertaining.

WhiteElephant
01-06-2007, 03:54 PM
Don't forget that chess provides a community service because if it wasn't for females who play chess, some male chessplayers would never have girlfriends/wives, etc.

Rincewind
01-06-2007, 05:56 PM
A Russian player at Elwood CC says "Chess is a drug".

Perhaps he means that "chess is a friend".

Kevin Bonham
01-06-2007, 05:57 PM
Don't forget that chess provides a community service because if it wasn't for females who play chess, some male chessplayers would never have girlfriends/wives, etc.

Are you saying those males would only choose another chess player for a partner, or that there are male chess players who only another chess player would go out with?

MichaelBaron
01-06-2007, 08:42 PM
Don't forget that chess provides a community service because if it wasn't for females who play chess, some male chessplayers would never have girlfriends/wives, etc.

LOL I do not think we got that many chess couples in Australia for now.

WhiteElephant
02-06-2007, 12:42 AM
Are you saying those males would only choose another chess player for a partner,

Definitely not.


or that there are male chess players who only another chess player would go out with?

Yes. Also that some chessplayers have trouble talking to women in the 'outside world'.

Rincewind
02-06-2007, 12:47 AM
There were two chess players walking by the river in Paris engaged in a heated discussion about the French defense when they didn't see someone on a bicycle coming the other way before it was too late and all three ended up in the drink.

The moral?

Chess definitely does make people go in Seine.

Kevin Bonham
02-06-2007, 01:17 AM
Yes. Also that some chessplayers have trouble talking to women in the 'outside world'.

Hardly endemic to chessplayers. You'll find some men in just about any field who have that sort of problem.

I suppose if someone's totally obsessed with the game and has no other interests or conversation skills it might be hard for someone who doesn't share that interest to relate to them. But that goes for any other potential obsession too.

Basil
02-06-2007, 06:11 AM
Hardly endemic to chessplayers. You'll find some men in just about any field who have that sort of problem.

I suppose if someone's totally obsessed with the game and has no other interests or conversation skills it might be hard for someone who doesn't share that interest to relate to them. But that goes for any other potential obsession too.
Such as ... oh I dunno ... 'academia' perhaps!?

frog
02-06-2007, 10:35 AM
Hi Gunner,

That is a bit catty Gunner.
Regards to ALL

Basil
02-06-2007, 01:54 PM
Hi Gunner,

That is a bit catty Gunner.
Regards to ALL

Catty? moi? You'll be suggesting 'pointy', next :P

I will add a couple of things. Firstly the comment was made in the spirit of the thread. Also, I have had a chance to sample 'academia' quite well and have observed a number of commonalities (broadly speaking of course); viz intelligence and many other commendable traits. However, gregariousness and flair are not ones that I find in abundance :uhoh:

I think Barry made an appropriate counter proposition about my affiliated marketing types a couple of days, ago. I couldn't disagree with him. I really can't say that they are broadly defined by their > average IQs or their sophistication! :eh:

Denis_Jessop
02-06-2007, 09:33 PM
Yes. Also that some chessplayers have trouble talking to women in the 'outside world'.

At last, Enlightenment! I knew that there must have been some reason why I am such a bad chessplayer. :rolleyes: :cool:

DJ

ER
02-06-2007, 10:37 PM
Does Chess Make People Insane?
not really, but chessplayers do!
Cheers and good luck!

Intuition
14-09-2007, 02:17 PM
for those who dont belive check out msn...It seems the media love to play on the crazy insane chess player steriotype :) 'CRAZY CHESS KILLER'...lol

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=295944

this is one of the top stories on ninemsn at the mo..lol...i wonder what the guys elo was....?

Garrett
14-09-2007, 02:32 PM
This is the media remember - they're not that bright to start with. If they were they would probably not be working in the media.

rob
14-09-2007, 03:15 PM
Don't forget that chess provides a community service because if it wasn't for females who play chess, some male chessplayers would never have girlfriends/wives, etc.

Yes I am sure that I would remain single if I hadn't met Nat.

We rarely play chess against each other at home, but when we do it is usually lightning (I am 1976!!, Nat is 1757!!, so the games are usually close). We usually only briefly go over each others rated games. We get enough chess at Perth chess club and sometimes Metro chess club too each week.

Nat is more likely to play my father, whilst I am more likely to play Nat's brother. Nat's father also plays/organises so we are a bit of a chess family like the Jones's! When we are all together (with my mum) we are most likely to play cards :)

Brian_Jones
14-09-2007, 03:56 PM
Nat is more likely to play my father, whilst I am more likely to play Nat's brother. Nat's father also plays/organises so we are a bit of a chess family like the Jones's! When we are all together (with my mum) we are most likely to play cards :)

Well Rob, when is WA going to organise another big (national) chess event. Even a GP weekender could entice us over in 2008?

The Jones's want to come and see our pommy cousin (from Sheffield) who has just bought a house in Beldon.

Maybe we could challenge the Maris/Taylor family at chess (but not cards!) ;)

But remember we now have two players under three years old! :owned:

Rincewind
14-09-2007, 04:13 PM
When we are all together (with my mum) we are most likely to play cards :)

Out of interest, which game or games do you play, when you play cards?

rob
14-09-2007, 06:27 PM
Out of interest, which game or games do you play, when you play cards?

My family and I enjoy: Nomination Whist, May I, Euchre, Canasta.

When Midland chess club was active on Friday nights, afterwards, between 4 & 8 players (average rating about 1900) would go back to my place for games of cards (espeecially nomination whist) and sometimes movies until about 5am.

This did not occur on weeks when Perth Glory were at home as I needed plenty of rest before drinking & socialising with my alcoholic neighbour and other mates from about midday to midnight.

Rincewind
14-09-2007, 06:50 PM
My family and I enjoy: Nomination Whist, May I, Euchre, Canasta.

When Midland chess club was active on Friday nights, afterwards, between 4 & 8 players (average rating about 1900) would go back to my place for games of cards (espeecially nomination whist) and sometimes movies until about 5am.

This did not occur on weeks when Perth Glory were at home as I needed plenty of rest before drinking & socialising with my alcoholic neighbour and other mates from about midday to midnight.

You seem to have a richer life than the average chess player. :)

I'm not familiar with May I. Does it belong to the whist family too?

I've played a few rummy like games, including canasta, but not for many years (probably not since high school). Closest to this sort of game I've played in recent times is Mah jong.

Also 500 seemed conspicuous by its absence (from euchre and whist). Is it not that popular in the West or just a personal preference?

DanielBell
14-09-2007, 09:30 PM
There were two chess players walking by the river in Paris engaged in a heated discussion about the French defense when they didn't see someone on a bicycle coming the other way before it was too late and all three ended up in the drink.

The moral?

Chess definitely does make people go in Seine.

The French Defence? Is that:



1.e4 1-0

rob
15-09-2007, 02:04 PM
The Jones's want to come and see our pommy cousin (from Sheffield) who has just bought a house in Beldon.
:
Is your cousin an Owl that has flown the nest or a blade that couldn't stand getting hammered last year?

Brian_Jones
15-09-2007, 02:37 PM
Is your cousin an Owl that has flown the nest or a blade that couldn't stand getting hammered last year?

Neither. He used to live in Hillsborough but wasn't a football fan!

He likes water sports and prefers going down to the beach!

In Sydney we don't mention football this year; particularly after losing 1-2 to Wellington last night! :eek:

Desmond
25-02-2008, 08:25 PM
From How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov:


It is difficult to think of a more parodoxial set of images than the reputation of the game of chess contrasted with that of a chess player. Chess is accepted as a universal symbol of intellect and complexity, sophistication and cunning. And yet there persists an image of the devoted chess player as eccentric, perhaps even psychotic.

Capablanca-Fan
25-02-2008, 08:43 PM
‘Amberley excelled at chess – one mark, Watson, of a scheming mind’ —Sherlock Holmes, in ‘The Adventure of the Retired Colourman’ in The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes (London, 1927).

tanc
26-02-2008, 10:11 AM
From How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov:
And yet there persists an image of the devoted chess player as eccentric, perhaps even psychotic.

We have Bobby Fischer to thank for that. :clap:

Basil
26-02-2008, 10:16 AM
Oh I dunno. I've seen enough chess players with their pants up to their armpits and the social graces of a castrated gnat on speed to be prepared to lay the blame closer to home.

Igor_Goldenberg
26-02-2008, 01:14 PM
Chess does not make you insane. But only insane people play chess regularly:D

Intuition
26-02-2008, 03:36 PM
Chess does not make you insane. But only insane people play chess regularly:D

Im sure its a bit of both Igor :D

bill718
03-03-2008, 06:20 PM
Chess does not make people insane any
more than politics, long work hours, or
getting stuck in traffic. It is OBSESSION
about these things that leads to mental
health issues. As Kasparov once said:
You must rule chess, without letting chess
rule you.
:cool:

Intuition
10-06-2008, 05:39 PM
Does anybody else think this is weird??

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4682

If the author is a chess player...he is in fact some evidence that chess makes you insane :)

Basil
10-06-2008, 06:03 PM
Does anybody else think this is weird??
Poppycock. It appears the author needs a bit of time on the couch himself.

Rincewind
10-06-2008, 07:21 PM
Does anybody else think this is weird??

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4682

If the author is a chess player...he is in fact some evidence that chess makes you insane :)


There are at least three authors here.

Firstly, there is the author of the new item/review piece - Frederic Friedel. He doesn't seem to be giving any credence to the theory and his only crime is not making it clear what it is he is writing about.

Then there is the author of the article in Secular Philosophy - Massimo Pigliucci. I didn't read the article but judging from Friedel's article, he would seem to be using the theory to illustrate the point that unfalsifiable hypotheses cannot form a part of scientific inquiry.

Finally, there is author of the book The Immortal Game - David Shenk. It is even more difficult to determine from Friedel's piece what Shenk's opinion is. However, given the nature of the book (it appears that this theory is limited to just one chapter) and the fact that Shenk appears to be a journalist by training, he is probably just reporting the theory rather than pushing it as having any great value.

So based on the article you linked to I can't see any reason to seek institutionalisation of any of the authors in particular.

Axiom
10-06-2008, 08:19 PM
wasn't reuben fine the initiator of this freudian gumpf ?

Denis_Jessop
10-06-2008, 08:25 PM
There are at least three authors here.

Firstly, there is the author of the new item/review piece - Frederic Friedel. He doesn't seem to be giving any credence to the theory and his only crime is not making it clear what it is he is writing about.

Then there is the author of the article in Secular Philosophy - Massimo Pigliucci. I didn't read the article but judging from Friedel's article, he would seem to be using the theory to illustrate the point that unfalsifiable hypotheses cannot form a part of scientific inquiry.

Finally, there is author of the book The Immortal Game - David Shenk. It is even more difficult to determine from Friedel's piece what Shenk's opinion is. However, given the nature of the book (it appears that this theory is limited to just one chapter) and the fact that Shenk appears to be a journalist by training, he is probably just reporting the theory rather than pushing it as having any great value.

So based on the article you linked to I can't see any reason to seek institutionalisation of any of the authors in particular.

Having had a quick look at the Friedel article on ChessBase and the Pigliucci article on the Secular Philosophy site, it becomes apparent that the real matter of debate, if one can call it that, is not whether chess makes one insane or whether insane people play chess but the age-old (figuratively speaking) argument about the application of Freudian psychology to chess by Ernest Jones and others after him like Reuben Fine and Shenk (apparently). Professor Pigliucci's piece is rather light-hearted but he gives no credence to the Jones/Fine point of view.

DJ

Aaron Guthrie
10-06-2008, 08:31 PM
wasn't reuben fine the initiator of this freudian gumpf ?The first to apply it to chess you mean? No, I do not think so. A quick search turns up an article earlier than Fine's 1956 article.

edit- removed the link cause it may be NSFW and not safe for kids. The article is from 1941 anyway.

Kevin Bonham
10-06-2008, 08:36 PM
So based on the article you linked to I can't see any reason to seek institutionalisation of any of the authors in particular.

The Ernest Jones cited by Shenk might have been another matter. I like Pigliucci's comment:

The point is that these quotes perfectly illustrate why Karl Popper thought that Freudian psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience: it’s no so much that the above is not true (though I very much doubt it is), but that there is not a single shred of evidence that would count for or against such statements. They are, to use Popper’s phrase, unfalsifiable.

Axiom
10-06-2008, 09:15 PM
The first to apply it to chess you mean?
no ! ... ten pin bowling ! :D



No, I do not think so. A quick search turns up an article earlier than Fine's 1956 article.

The article is from 1941 anyway.ok, thank you.
generally, how close was this 1941 article to fine's work ?

Basil
10-06-2008, 09:22 PM
Poppycock. It appears the author needs a bit of time on the couch himself.


So based on the article you linked to I can't see any reason to seek institutionalisation of any of the authors in particular.

I should have been clearer *sheez, there's a first*.

It was the lad Jones in need of a ten stretch in The Sisters Of Mercy psych lab.

Aaron Guthrie
10-06-2008, 09:30 PM
When I posted that I missed Denis pointing out that Jones pre-dated Fine. Jones wrote as far back as 1931 on this.
ok, thank you.
generally, how close was this 1941 article to fine's work ?Same thing really. Aren't all Freudian analysis basically the same anyway?

Axiom
10-06-2008, 09:38 PM
When I posted that I missed Denis pointing out that Jones pre-dated Fine. Jones wrote as far back as 1931 on this.Same thing really. Aren't all Freudian analysis basically the same anyway?
but not to the point of plagiarism ?

Ian Rout
10-06-2008, 10:23 PM
but not to the point of plagiarism ?There's no suggestion of plagiarism by Fine. Jones is listed in the footnotes along with De Groot and several others who I've never heard of (also a number of chess players, who I have heard of).

Aaron Guthrie
11-06-2008, 12:41 AM
but not to the point of plagiarism ?That is not what I mean. I mean that the general diagnosis is the same. E.g. ten pin bowling- clearly the ball represents the child's desire (note the relationship between a ball and being clenched up into a ball), the pins his father (obvious phallic symbol), the lane the mother (left as an exercise for the read), thus the aim of removing the pins (father) from the lane (mother).

Axiom
11-06-2008, 12:54 AM
That is not what I mean. I mean that the general diagnosis is the same. E.g. ten pin bowling- clearly the ball represents the child's desire (note the relationship between a ball and being clenched up into a ball), the pins his father (obvious phallic symbol), the lane the mother (left as an exercise for the read), thus the aim of removing the pins (father) from the lane (mother).
So basically any ol' hack can do it ? :eek:

Denis_Jessop
11-06-2008, 01:06 PM
A bit more on the background to this. Fine apparently published a paper entitled "Pschyoanalytic Observations on Chess and Chess Masters". It was republished by Dover as a book in 1956 called "The Psychology of the Chess Player". It begins with the words -

"In the psychoanalytic literature, the classical paper on chess is the one by Ernest Jones, entitled "The Problem of Paul Morphy" first read to the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1930 and published in 1931."

Fine's book includes, as an Appendix, two letters by Ernest Jones to him in which it appears that, especially in later life, Jones was a keen chess player and President of the Chichester Chess Club.

Fine, of course, having been a World Championship contender, (he was chosen to play in the 1948 World Championship Tournament but was unable to go to Europe to play) then gave up chess to practise as a psychologist.

DJ

Brian_Jones
11-06-2008, 02:14 PM
It was the lad Jones in need of a ten stretch in The Sisters Of Mercy psych lab.

Gunner. Just watch it mate. :evil:

There were seven of us playing for Wales against the Springboks on Saturday night! :eek:

Basil
11-06-2008, 02:21 PM
Gunner. Just watch it mate. :evil:
Are you being ernest?

Brian_Jones
11-06-2008, 03:00 PM
Are you being ernest?

Is that important? :)

Basil
11-06-2008, 04:04 PM
If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd, it's being out-touchéd by a bloke from NSW. If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd by a bloke from NSW, it's being out-touchéd by a Man U supporter from NSW. If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd by Man U supporting bloke from NSW, it's being out-touchéd by a Man U supporting bloke from NSW who has a higher rating than me. If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd by a Man U supporting bloke from NSW who has a higher rating than me, it's being out-touchéd by a Man U supporting bloke from NSW who has a higher rating than me, in public.

Have a bloody HCD.

Brian_Jones
11-06-2008, 04:15 PM
Have a bloody HCD.

I've already got one thanks mate! :)

ER
11-06-2008, 08:07 PM
If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd, it's being out-touchéd by a bloke from NSW. If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd by a bloke from NSW, it's being out-touchéd by a Man U supporter from NSW. If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd by Man U supporting bloke from NSW, it's being out-touchéd by a Man U supporting bloke from NSW who has a higher rating than me. If there's one thing I hate more than being out-touchéd by a Man U supporting bloke from NSW who has a higher rating than me, it's being out-touchéd by a Man U supporting bloke from NSW who has a higher rating than me, in public.

Have a bloody HCD.

Howie, you didn't mentioned any Victorian Man U supporters... Was it a Freudian slip? :P

Cheers and good luck!