Losing All Your Games

Published in Chess - 2 mins to read

While updating the results on the Guernsey Chess Club website today, I noticed that one particular individual has accomplished a rare but simultaneously undesirable feat - they have lost every single one of their games in this league cycle. This person has been playing in our second division (we only have two) for a few cycles now, and while I haven’t checked, I don’t think he’s won very many games during his time at the club at all.

My first reaction to this is to wonder why he continues to play at the club - not in a “you’re not good enough so you’re not welcome” kinda way, more based on my own personal experience. A pretty major part of my enjoyment of chess, especially when I am taking it seriously, is winning, and feeling like I played well and outwitted my opponent. If I lost every game in a cycle, I’m not sure I’d have it in me to face another one. In fact, while I personally have never done this, there are plenty of occasions when division one players have had an especially bad run of games, got demoted, and simply dropped out of the league altogether.

I think this characterisation of my attitude towards chess is indicative of a less-than-perfect attitude to a lot of other things. It underlines that I am deeply results oriented - something that is also very obvious in my approach to my weight, or my career, or my other hobbies, or really anything I do. Even when I meditate, an exercise which is very explicitly about the journey and not the destination, my primary motivation for doing so is to keep my streak alive on the tracking app I use.

This attitude hasn’t made me especially happy so far, so I think I’m going to try to learn what I can from the guy who shows up week after week, even if he loses every single time.