Is chess a formidable waste of time?

Yes and no. Yes, because to master it relatively well requires a life of study and delivery, early initiation and natural talent. Even so, would it be worth reducing the existence to 64 squares (32 black, 32, white) and no carnation? As Nabokov testifies in defense , insanity chess player converts the grid floor of a hospital on a board where roam without logic pawns and nurses who eat the step and makes the movement of a waiter incoherent displacement of a horse on the flank lady . To dream bishops and live inside a tower, not ivory, prisoner of your own long castro: that can be a life dedicated to chess. The mind, prone to addictions, works to imagine plays on a nonexistent board and all around fades: friends, family, couple. Go in disclaimer of this ancient game that there are also public accountants and bookkeeper (six by eight equal to forty-eight years thrown away, behind a cloth desk, making watermarks to evade taxes from bad customers), and inspectors Prosecutors (eight by six equal to forty-eight absurd years in linen desk in search of the tricks of the evasors).

However, there is a basic element in chess that justifies and ennobles (and separates it from dominoes, hopscotch and marbles). Chess is the only game that shares with art the ability to create beauty. Aesthetics saves him from boredom and monotony, because where there is beauty there is forgiveness and the world is safe. Playing chess can be, like playing the violin or sculpting in clay, an artistic form.

The problem is that the beauty of chess is intelligible only to practitioners. No boss understood the delay in the office because of an annoying horse in which he had to be expelled after a long detour. No bride shares the sadistic adventure left in zugzwang an opponent, forcing him to move his pawns to suffocation, like an automaton, a position that certainly envy the author of Philosophy toilet . Chess players are a sect, such as the Cathars of Provence or the readers of Proust, the latter able to be recognized in a meeting and discuss until the dawn Swan’s reasons to endure the deceptions of Odette, or the gradual moral degradation of the baron Of Charlus. I know chess players, of course, ready to end the most enjoyable party, the most interesting conversation, the most diligent assembly. The method is simple: someone removes a board surreptitiously and invites the rest to practice in a corner this game of princes, that sublimate the war until turning it into an art, as requested Machiavelli.

When at the end of a long and departed couple, the immovable king, the latter called him Borges, comes out to discuss his magisterium with the enemy pawns; When one is able to imagine a winning combination; When a coldly calculated gavel fulfills its objective and the opposite delivers the lady, only then one discovers that the title of this blog post is rhetorical. The answer is no.

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