Why do people quit chess? I will put on my pop psychology hat and suggest four possibilities, each beginning with the letter “D”.
1. Distracted. They are so busy making money, making good grades, or making love that there is no time for chess in their life.
2. Disappointed. They lost a game or two. Chess is not fun. It takes work. They decide to go look for something easier to do.
3. Discouraged. They have lost a lot of games. They make more blunders than they think they should. Chess is hard. Too hard.
4. Depressed. They lose all the time. They will never win again. Their life is full of troubles. They cannot bear to play anymore.
In the 1980s I went down this road myself. I experienced major losses in my family and my job. I needed to make changes. In my chess career, I had progressed to the point where I played a steady stream of experts and masters. I lost a lot of games. My ratings yo-yoed from 2100 to 1900 up and down, up and down. For a while during that time period I played the French Defence as Black. Here in a Tarrasch, I played APCT Postal Expert Steve Surak. He chose 5.f4. When I had to renew my membership, I withdrew.
My chess life was not over. After I became established in a new job, I returned to chess. Then I switched to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. I won a lot of games in 1989. Chess was fun again!
Surak (2172) - Sawyer (1950), corr APCT 1986 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ndf3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Qb6 9.g3 Bb4+ [9...Be7=] 10.Kf2 f5!? [10...g5 11.fxg5 Ndxe5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Kg2=] 11.Ne2 g6? [11...0-0=] 12.Be3 Ndb8 13.h3 [13.Kg2+/-] 13...h5 14.Bg2 [14.Rc1+/-] 14...Qc7 15.g4 hxg4? [15...Na5 16.Ng5+/=] 16.hxg4 Rxh1 17.Qxh1 Qg7 18.gxf5 gxf5 19.Rg1 Bf8 20.Bf1 Qe7 21.Rg8 Na6 22.Ng5 Bd7 23.Qh5+ Kd8 24.Nf7+?! [24.Qh8+-] 24...Kc7 25.Nd6 Rd8 26.Ke1?! [26.Nc3+/-] 26...Be8 27.Qh2 Kb8 28.Bf2 Bf7 29.Rh8 Qd7 30.Nxf7 Qxf7 31.Rh7 Qe8 32.Nc1 Nc7 [32...Na5=] 33.Nb3 Rd7 34.Rh8 Rd8 35.Kd1 b6 36.Be1 a5 37.Bf2 Nb4 38.a3 Qa4 39.Qg3 Nba6 40.Be1 Nb5= Black withdrew. 1-0
You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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