We all like to win. Nowhere is this more true than in competitive games and sports. Back in the day, I used to play competitive chess, representing my employer in an inter-company league in the Hartford, Connecticut area.
People who don’t play chess sometimes picture a game where both players sit immobile, each thinking it’s the other’s turn to play, until both fall asleep.
In reality, tournament chess is an incredibly suspenseful, sustained, high-pressure contest. We played with chess clocks set so each player had to make 40 moves in 90 minutes on his own clock. You’d think a three-hour combined time limit would make for a leisurely game, but I assure you it was very tense. One or both players usually got into time trouble by the end, having to make, say, 10 moves in his final two minutes. That was after spending nearly three hours thinking as hard as…
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