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Last week’s poll question was: ‘Do you follow a fixed repertoire or play game to game?’ The majority of the readership is very definitely in the former camp, with ‘One fixed repertoire’ a clear winner followed by ‘Vary sub-system within main defence’  followed by ‘Two complete repertoires’ in the top three places, scooping up 68% of the vote between them. Not many I-make-it-up-as-I-go people on the QC blog, which makes sense.


Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, we will go sentimental with this week’s poll: What do you love most about chess?

For some it will be winning, and only winning. For the more sensitive souls, there will be beauty, or creativity or the excitement of competition, regardless of the result.

There are even those who see chess as a kind of academic hobby – they might enjoy studying the intricacies of the Botvinnik Semi-Slav, but with no intention of ever playing it.

And as ever, ‘Other’ is there as an option for the outliers.

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  1. February 15th, 2016 at 18:13 | #1

    If only you’d included ‘books’ as one of your choices!

    By the way, any chance that Jacob’s endgame from the NCL this weekend might be analyzed on the blog?

  2. Roberto Juanes
    February 15th, 2016 at 22:58 | #2

    The women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Remco G
    February 16th, 2016 at 07:54 | #3

    This is very hard to answer. When I moved to a new city where I knew no-one, I joined the large chess club there. I met people, got to know team members during long travels to away matches, and so on. I like that part of it, but if my hobby had been volleyball it would have been similar. I love the idea of studying but rarely sit down to actually do it. I think I like the idea of *improvement* best, chess is very hard and not easy to fit into rules, but over time I find I understand it more and more, and that is nice. Unfortunately the one move blunders increase in number…

    But I clicked “Winning”. There is something magical about playing a hard complicated game for hours against someone you respect and actually beating them, managing to find the moves that gradually turn that small advantage into a position that forces the other to resign. It makes my week. Unfortunately that means there are also those weeks in which I lost…

  4. Bebbe
    February 16th, 2016 at 15:03 | #4

    I clicked “Creativity” although I play for all the other reasons mentioned except for the women.
    Here is my personal ranking of what I love most about chess:

    5.Meeting people
    7.Travel opportunities

    This is how I feel today. Another day the ranking will be different.

  5. Soviet School
    February 16th, 2016 at 20:20 | #5

    I like the history, the fact you can play through a game Pillsbury vs Lasker exactly as it happened.
    You cannot replay an old historic soccer game or boxing match like that.

    As regards playing, I love playing blitz but hate playing slow chess

  6. d.
    February 17th, 2016 at 03:18 | #6

    My favorite thing in chess is to sit outside in a chess cafe or park in the summer and play blitz all day long. Enjoy the company of friends and strangers, soak in the world as it passes by, smile with small triumphs and laugh at blunders and horrific losses.

  7. James
    February 17th, 2016 at 07:38 | #7

    I voted for meeting people, some of my best friends at Uni I met via the chess club.

  8. TD
    February 17th, 2016 at 09:47 | #8

    I voted Other. For me it’s about preparing for a game (opening study), playing the game (competing), and making a “complete” analysis of the game, with a report of all the technical, internal and external issues. For me, a chess game is not only a sporting event, but it tells a story about your (chess) abilities and knowledge and also your mental state and how you cope with all your “problems”, on and of the board. So I am not only competing with my opponent, but also with myself. I like to watch chess matches almost as much as I like to play because I like the atmosphere and can relate to it.

  9. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    February 17th, 2016 at 17:30 | #9

    I don’t love anything about chess.

    Loving things that are not human and which are incapable of loving is a beyond silly and ios the domain of the mentally impaired.

  10. Andre’
    February 17th, 2016 at 21:17 | #10

    I voted for creativity, but the more I think about it these days I enjoy learning the history (people, games, events, openings) just as much. Maybe i’m getting older!

    As an aside I have an idea for the next poll that I think would be interesting;
    Who does the current Armageddon (5min White, 4min Black, 3sec increment after move 60, Black draw odds) favour?
    Heavily White,
    Slightly White,
    Perfectly balanced,
    Slightly Black, or
    Heavily Black.
    Would be interested to see poll results from an educated and informed viewer base.

  11. Ray
    February 18th, 2016 at 15:01 | #11

    @ Shurlock Ventriloquist: Apparently you didn’t watch ‘her’ :-).

  12. Greg
    February 22nd, 2016 at 15:08 | #12


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