Perhaps the most important trait a player needs is a warped sense of humor.
GM Tony Miles
The first time I read there was humor in chess I was skeptical. How could it be funny a silent game that required concentration, calculation, and was usually played by quiet (and maybe also serious) people? It didn’t make sense. However, as Jonathan Rowson mentions in ‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins’, it’s not uncommon to see players commenting and laughing about a game. But that happens afterward (or during a game, if you play in parks!).
It turns out that there might be some connection between good chess moves and games and the punchlines in jokes. It’s the magic of the unexpected, a wicked turn that catches us off guard. And we love this kind of surprise. They can have a strong appeal to our sense of humor. The more you learn and know about the game, the funnier it gets. And this can happen in all phases of the game. Even as early as in the first few movements. In March 2021, in the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, Carlsen played the Bongcloud opening (1. e4 followed by 2. Ke2), against Hikaru Nakamura. As soon as Nakamura saw the movement, he busted out laughing. He didn’t expect at all that Magnus would play such an opening in a context like that (which was closer to that of an official tournament). Watch the video of that streamed game below.[Read more…] about Chess in Italian (Week 10) Humor in Chess