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Death of a paradigm

An example of early-style Staunton Chess Set

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I play chess. I have been playing chess for about 12 years off and on. My game hasn’t improved much and I am quite bad but its fun so I play the game. In phases. And in those phases that I play it can take up 4-5 hours of my day.

Years ago, when I was introduced to the game, a part of the introduction consisted of the ‘etiquette’ surrounding the game. A gentleman’s code. Of politeness and courtesy and such other ideas. It did not make sense to me why a game based on the highest principles of the mathematical game theory should be polluted with all these social behavioral streaks. This game – the highest form of logical thinking should have been left pure. But anyway I went along with it, because I had bigger things to rebel about at that time! And so, the thank yous followed every game, and winners – in their gentlemanly way (even though they were wild schoolgirls) –  celebrated their win with a muted nod of the head rather than shouts and screams!

That was the old paradigm.

And then internet happened. And happened. and happened. And each day saw about 8000 people from all over the globe coming together to battle their black and white armies.  8 yr olds playing 80 yr olds. Icelanders playing Japanese. Young boys from Korea playing old grandmas from Denmark.

Whose behavioral rules apply? Whose paradigms are more correct?

And so chess evolved into its best form yet: No language. No Victorian protocol. No handshake. The only rules that apply were the rules of the game. Pure logic. Wordless. Without bias, because you cannot even SEE your opponent. All you see are the moves. And that’s all that counts. Whether it’s a shaky old hand in rags that controls the mouse or a pretty young things’ hand, it makes no difference to the advantage gained in that move.

This would shock many. But if the game is all that counts then the death of the old paradigms shouldn’t matter.






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This entry was posted on February 19, 2011 by in Thought Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , , .


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