Thoughts about Chess Community, xQc, and a Game from the Dojo!

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”

Alan Watts
Alan Watts.png
Alan Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British writer and speaker known for interpreting and popularizing Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a Western audience.

I have long been interested in Buddhism and Zen, and it, therefore, made perfect sense for me to join the Chess Dojo (Discord: The Chess Dojo is, in short, a hub for chess improvers, run by IM Kostya Kavutskiy, IM David Pruess, and GM Jesse Kraai. Dojo meaning s a hall or place for immersive learning or meditation

Within the dojo tournaments and long training games now are arranged, and I played the first game in a round-robin tournament last Sunday.

Before I show the game with my analysis I will shortly return to the quote by Alan Watts, since it made me think that the thoughts we arrive at during a game are not solely our own and that our chess language is taught to us by the chess community we take part in.

We often hear about the Russian chess school that has formed so many great Russian players. It makes sense that by being part of a community the power of our thoughts collectively gains in strength and affects others taking part in that community. So If I was to rewrite the quote by Alan Watts in relation to chess it would be:

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions during a game are not actually our own. For we think in terms of chess principles and structures which we did not invent, but which were given to us by the community we take part in and the material we chose to study”

An interesting example is the streamer xQc who is coming from the Gamer/Twitch-community and is now learning to play chess. xQc coined a totally new word for a tactic “the 5headed-wooden-shield” showing that his chess language is something completely different.

xQc playing chess online

By actively participating in a community we adopt new ideas and learn a new language used within that community. I think every chess improver should think about what kind of community benefits his/her improvement the most. And if you are not part of one yet, which should you join?

It was just some thoughts about the influence of taking part in a community in chess.

Now to my game from the Dojo!

My next game is tomorrow, and it is a 30+15 in the #TwitterChessTournament! Wish me luck

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1 year ago

Sorry for posting this off-topic comment here, but I’d love to join the Twitter Chess Tournament. Do you have any idea about when would you be starting a new one? I’m following the ongoing one and I think it’s a fascinating format, and great fun. Congratulations for the job, keep it going!

1 year ago

Very interesting post. You make a fruitful link between life and chess. I have read that many of the best players often know the best move before thought takes over.
There may also be a similarity with the state of mind discussed in Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintenance, where the author notes that he maintains his bike well when he is first calm and unruffled and then it just flows.
Where chess often diverges from the Buddhist principles is where a player wants to ‘destroy’ the other player. It is very difficult, perhaps, to play without ego, but this may itself be a practice.
Sorry to be so serious, but I thought that I would comment on such an interesting post.