Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chess and Reality TV

It's Saturday and today there is a Quad to be played. Quad's are the toughest to direct because it's at the last moment that the director breaks everyone into their little round robin and if one mistake is made or if say GM Alexander Ivanov walks in at the last minute a great deal of work has to be e-torn up and repaired. Even given the best of conditions it usually means that on average a Quad will start 20 minutes later than your average Swiss.

This interval this gives extra time to sit and discuss the world with a pretty intelligent group of people. And so it was that day, as Bob Oresick, Josh Haunstrup, Paul Miskin, and myself got into a far reaching discussion that danced around socially challenged people with sociopath behavior tendencies because they were devoid of comprehending many of the social boundaries and cues that the average person takes for granted. This discussion drew on the backgrounds of a psychologist, defense lawyer, author/social worker, and former Math teacher. Everyone brought into the discussion a perspective that contributed greatly to the field of ideas. And even a question came out: do hormone levels in the brain the likes of serotonin effect the "physical wiring" of the brain so abnormal chemistry at birth or deficiencies, at some time during life, can cause permanent/chronic mental illness? Well I'm not going to recount the whole discussion but will only say that if chess had a reality show and the cameras were rolling the thought provoking ideas would be much more entertaining than guys building motorcycles, or a pawn or tattoo shop, or a mafia mother.

A couple of years ago a fire on the Red Line caused a one hour delay and an informal committee consisting of liberals, conservatives, republicans and democrats sat in a circle and the question was asked is there an approach to the war on Iraq that we can all agree on. And in that hour's time we came to a much closer consensus than the guys in Washington ever did. Phil Nutzman once led a discussion about discovering planets in other solar systems and the probability of intelligent life - and as we know he later discovered a planet. All pretty cool stuff and much more interesting than Ozzie Osborn looking for his sunglasses. So I think if produced properly, the social life of chess could attract viewers. Especially if we could attract members the likes of Keith Richards. Maybe someday Phil could interview someone from another planet wanting to play the most important game of the human/silicone ruled Earth. Are we ready for chess reality TV?

Please Comment. Thank You

Mike Griffin 02/16/2010

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