Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Chess is next to Godliness

While my chess joke about Anglicans didn't have any legs, Dennis' post on whether Christians can play chess has taken off - particularly in the Christian blogosphere. Personally, I feel ill-equipped to enter the discussion in a significant way. However, having read several posts and the comments on Dennis' site it seems to me that the discussion resembles the chess as art vs. sport debate. To the extent that one plays chess for its beauty and creativity it is consistent with religious values; however, as cut-throat competition it is not.

If this is true, can one then conclude that those who play for their livelihood (typically GMs and other highly-rated players) are on the wrong side of good, while those who play purely for enjoyment (typically amateurs, though not all amateurs) exemplify high ideals? This might explain why Dennis, a master, argues the un-Christian side while the "woodpushers" counter. Perhaps if the masters let us class players beat them more often they would feel better about themselves!? :)

In the meantime, here is a selection of links referencing Dennis' post:

Imago Dei: Chess and the Christian
Pruitt Communications: Can Christians Compete?
Dangerous Idea: C. S. Lewis, Chess, and Pride
SmartChristian Blog: Is Chess a Discipleship Tool?
JollyBlogger: Jolly Digest 2-7-05 Chess Anyone...
Rakshasas: On the count of three, everyone philosophize...

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