Robert Desjarlais

in Counterplay

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267398
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948204 | DOI:

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A determined, intrepid approach to the game helps a player to grab precious points. Seasoned players speak of such determination as an integral piece of a chess player's success. One motivation that some players employ is to drum up an antipathy toward their opponents. They make themselves despise their opponents, generating “hatred” for them. That way, they want nothing more than to demolish them and exert their superiority. The competitive spirit is pervasive, even in casual settings. Chess players are constantly sizing up who the other players are. A hierarchy of dominance exists, not unlike that which can be found at a posh country club or among a troop of baboons. Competitiveness and camaraderie form a double-helix structure of social relations in chess.

Keywords: game; chess; player; motivation; antipathy; opponents; superiority; dominance; competitiveness; camaraderie

Chapter.  11683 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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