"When one of us first plays chess,he is like a man who has already caught a dose of microbes of, say, Hong Kong 'flu. Such a man walks along the street, and does not yet know that he is ill. He is healthy, he is fine, but the microbes are doing their work.
Something similiar, though less harmful, occurs in chess. You have just been shown that the knight moves like the Russian letter [L], the bishop diangonally, the castle in a straight line, while the queen likes her own colour. You lost your first game. But at some time, if your father or elder brother or simply an old friend wants to be kind to you, then you win, and as a result you feel very proud of yourself. A few days pass, and suddenly you involuntarily begin to sense that, without chess, there is something missing in your life. Then you rejoice: you belong to that group of people without a natural immunity to the chess disease..."
-Mikhail Tal (The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal)
I like this quote very much, but most especially the last two lines. At chessgames.com one can "rejoice" in the fact that "you belong to that group of people without a natural immunity to the chess disease."
It is easy to respect the words of a World Chess Champion. Whether a quote from Morphy (an unofficial World Champion), Steinitz (1886-1894), Em. Lasker (1894-1921), Capablanca (1921-1927), Alekhine (1927-1935 and 1937-1946), Euwe (1935-1937), Botvinnik (1948-1957, 1958-1960 and 1961-1963), Smyslov (1957-1958), Tal (1960-1961), Petrosian (1963-1969), Spassky (1969-1972), Fischer (1972-1975), Karpov (1975-1985 and inherited the title again in 1993), Kasparov (1985-1993 and 1993-2000, accounting for PCA title and WC title in the statistic) or Kramnik (2000-present day), it is most assuredly a quote belonging to the group of "chess people", from the highest echelon of chess, of which they themselves are a part. You can of course add in the FIDE Chess Champions' if you wish.
However, at chessgames.com we do not generally recieve quotes from World Chess Champions (although Mrs. Susan Polgar, a former Women's World Chess Champion, does grace us often), which means we, the quoters and comment makers, discuss amongst ourselves. Does this make us less important? Well, not all opinions are equal, but are our thoughts important in spiite of it? I say yes! We stake our claim in the world of chess as gold miners' staked claims in California. Not for the need of monetary gain, but for the need to have a foothold into the glorious world of the 64 squares. However, maybe in less superfluous terms, we simply do not have "a natural immunity to the chess disease..." Whatever it is, it is a pleasure to be part of the group.
A little bit about myself:
I live in America (in the neon-city if that hints at where), but please don't hate me because of it. I like to think that I am well cultured and informed.
My rating is not so high, but I am adding points to it at a gradual pace. I am not so concerned about it (although I do take some pride in it). I mainly just want to play really strong chess.
I have several books on chess, or chess literature if you prefer. Books including "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" (you assumed as much!), "The Art of the Middle Game", Alekhines "My Best Games of Chess", "The Middle Game (part 1 and 2) by Max Euwe and Kramer, "Chess Fundamentals", and several works on the opening by Everyman Chess publications.
I often teach the basics of chess to youngsters at a local cafe. I enjoy it and hope they learn something from me. I mainly try to instill a love for the game, but I think they just love pizza! (We feed the kids when they come for lessons:). It's cool, but I am now taking a little time off to focus on improving my skills.
I am 17, was at a Jr. college at 16 and I am a good student. I started playing chess around 6, but did not start playing in tournments till I was 13 or so.
I do not have a fancy computer program (such as Fritz). All I have is Chess Master 8000, which is an alright program, but I mainly use it for its game database.
I stay up late studying chess usually. Sometimes too late and I sleep in much too long the next day. I only do this on summer vacation though when I can afford to sleep in till 2:00 pm:) My trainer on ICC (internet chess club. I get lessons) says, "if your not careful you could end up like Rubinstein". I said, "Wow, you really think so!," he said "He was in insane asylum," I said, "Oh".