Kindred’s Special: Love Speaks Loudly Through the Amateur World Ranks

Love, Love, Love!  That is the soul of spirited human endeavor and thus we come to visualize the genius of creativity.  The musical mystro and genius works of Mozart are a lasting picture of beauty embracing the love affair that one might attribute soley to a few elite genius exhibitors.  Such artists exist in a variety of settings.  Yet, I have come to wonder just where the word LOVE fits in with the masses that find great joy in the practice of chasing the mysterious notes within music compositions, artist creations with the brush, and a host of what is called beauty out of the amateur ranks. The thing that ties the two together is appreciation of both sight and hearing. Reducing or losing either or both alters the joys of experiencing the ultimate in LOVE.

The question to answer it broadly earmarks the term of amateur.  What is an amateur?  One only needs to look around and see gatherings of people who come together to share an interest.  Collectively it describes the word amateur. To say it another way–the amateur is one who enjoys something because he or she loves to do it so that participation attracts groups who share the enjoyment, often seen in the guise of friendly competitions.  And where more than one creates a group,   finds the term amateurs being the plural of the word.  But again, just who are they and what attracts them to form a wide branch of human endeavor?  In belief that chess reflects much of the game of life, might it clarify as a type of piggy-backing the whole of these collective bodies?  The answer in chess may well lay in the workings of the established rating system where every organized chessplayer carries one. This rating is not stationary but changes with playing and results when involved in official events.  In a real sense the rating is a huge Ponzi Scheme that works despite some questionable traits where good and bad meet. For it’s few faults, no other activity points out such comparable reflection of the whole as a world body that embraces professional and amateur ranking. Ratings assure participants some degree of equality in skill for pairing purposes. To me as a former Tournament Organizer and Director, that is the whole basis of the system although it also tends to give probable odds for a game result.  But that is the beauty of chess–the upset is more likely in chess than any other sport form.

In summation, should I have not bored you or put you to sleep, perhaps you can see my own preference that the amateur tends to be attracted in a love-hate relationship.  What I mean by that is for the amateur who decides to play in Swiss System Tournaments, often with faster time controls, and play being 3-games on Saturday and 2-games on Sunday that often wears on the nerves and makes one wonder on the way home which often takes miles and miles of travel with the constant thought about that last game that featured the good and the bad.  The ultimate moment comes when arriving home, your parents or wife or husband as the case might be looks for a cherished prize or with a hand out for the winnings.  That love affair blossoms with rest and the next event find the chess enthusiast searching the chess pages for a coming event!   Many sporting events where friends or associates find time to enjoy exercise, mental, physical or both, and fellowship fits the amateur definition best.

During my 65 years of chess I have seen a number of literary achievements (some great and some junk) authored by both professional and amateur alike. Chess has it’s own code of generalship that is reflected in starting or ending a game. The same holds true for match results.  In this, the amateur is equal to the professional.

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