The Instigator
Pro (for)
11 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Chess (Full resolution in first round)

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2012 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 921 times Debate No: 28736
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




Full Resolution: As a chess coach, you should not teach your student to become a chess player, but to teach them to appreciate the game.

I am PRO, therefore arguing to that given resolution. My opponent (CON) will be arguing against that resolution.

BOP is shared.

Rules of this debate:
First round is ACCEPTANCE ONLY
No new arguments in last round. Last round for final rebuttals, defence and summarisation.


Chess player: A person who plays chess tournaments for money, fame, sponsorships etc.

Chess coach: A person who teaches an adult or a child to improve their ability to play the game of chess.

Appreciate: To be grateful, to recognise the beauty of etc. (definition should be clear in the context of this debate).

Other definitions should be common sense.

And of course, no semantics and trolling.

I hope both my opponent and I will gain something from this debate after it is finished.

Good Luck!


"Nowadays, you need to have some unique skills
if you want to beat an experienced opponent."

"You need to have special knowledge
which is not presented in chess books."

"Some strong players know these weapons,
however they will never tell them to you."

A i have nothing to do but accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Darckshadows for accepting my challenge to this debate.

As the resolution states, I am proving why you should NOT teach your student to become a chess player, but to appreciate the game. It should then be clear why I am making arguments regarding the disadvantagesof being a chess player along with the advantages of being a person who is simply appreciating the game.

Without further ado, I will now begin with my arguments.

“Chess is mental torture” – Garry Kasparov [1]

“Chess is a war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind” Bobby Fischer [2]

“Chess is life” Bobby Fischer [2]

“I learnt an enormous amount, but there came a point where I found there was too much stress. It was no fun anymore. Outside of the chessboard I avoid conflict, so I thought this wasn’t worth it. (On training sessions with Kasparov)” – Magnus Carlsen [3]

These quotes came from the mouths of the best of the best chess players that have ever existed, which gives a good introduction to my arguments. As you can witness, the life of a professional chess player (not necessarily those as competitive as them) is incredibly difficult.

Argument 1: Downsides of becoming a chess player

Sub – Argument 1: Stress in the lives of competitive chess players

The level of stress experienced by those of competitive chess players are considerably higher than those of an average person out there in the workforce. For example [1], the following player, who identifies himself to be a competitive player, but isn’t a full-time chess player manages to feel quite a lot of stress.

Psychological stress is also a major factor in all chess players and a difficult barrier for many to overcome. As outlined by WGM Natalia Pogonina [4] within the high-class chess players, a simple loss or draw against a player, you could “end up in trouble again and waste a lot of nervous energy along the way”. It distracts you from your future games, makes you hate your opponent, wastes a lot of your energy.

For example, an interesting documentary on Garry Kasparov’s [5] loss against Deep Blue (A chess engine) during the peak of his chess abilities tells us how after his first loss to the machine, “it wasn’t simply a loss of the game. It was a loss of the entire match” says Garry Kasparov. After his first loss (details too complicated to explain here. Watch entire documentary for the full idea), he was psychologically destroyed.

The “cognitive” psychology within chess has been studied through by Dr Fernand Gobet [6] and as his information shows, not all players are suitable to become great chess players. Quoting from that article:

“ It took an average of 11, 000 hours to reach 2200. One player needed around 3, 000 hours to reach 2200, while another player spent more than 23, 000 hours to achieve the same level.”

Another interesting factor that I would like to take note of is, with a high level of stress would usually result in high blood pressure. High blood pressure usually leads to higher chances of heart attacks. A good look at the deaths of famous chess players may be of interest. [7]

Referring back to the resolution, IF you were a chess coach, would you want to subject your student to such things? Allowing them to suffer intense levels of psychological distress from their failures? (Unless you can expect them to become perfect chess players).

Sub – Argument 2: Violence amongst different players

The pressure to improve your own game as a competitive chess player appears to be too difficult for some to cope with. As shown here, chess players have been murdered or have been involved with violent activities during the peak of their playing career.

On this page [8], a well-detailed page describes the many cases of violence that has occurred during the lives of chess players (not all of these are competent players!). For example, the famous Garry Kasparov:

On April 15, 2005, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was attacked by a man posing as a chess fan who wanted his wooden chess board signed. Instead, he hit Kasparov in the head very hard with the chess board.

To something as serious as this:

In February 2009, a man killed a friend with a sword after a chess game in Alameda, California. An argument broke out during their game, and the two started wrestling. Joseph Groom retreated to his bedroom and returned with a sword, which he used to stab Kelly Kjersem once. Kjersem later died.

Majority of chess players become too emotional after a loss in very important tournaments and end up holding grudges against the victor.

Argument 2: Benefits of appreciating the game of chess

Sub – Argument 1: Chess is an art

Many of you may be wondering, how do you “appreciate” a game of chess? To put simply, chess games or moves can be witnessed like a movie or a good book. A geek with books is able to tell what makes a book good or bad, and a movie critic understands to a great deal what movies are categorised as good for the market. Chess is very much the same. A person educated in chess is able to witness great games of chess.

Next question, what is chess? To the beginner, it is merely a board game with random pieces that run around on the board with the aim to capture the king. However, to professionals, it is much more than that. Some regard chess to be a type of science, war, psychological warfare, and lastly, a lot of people regard chess to be art.

In the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer”, Bruce (the chess coach), mentions how Fischer regards chess to be art.

“Bobby Fischer got underneath it, like no one before him and found at its centre, art”.

There are many things in chess that makes it art. There are many types of games that are beautiful to witness and certainly many different beautiful moves that have been played out. For example, in the following position, it first appears that white is completely lost, yet, a move as crazy as that (shown in green arrow), secures a win.

I will briefly outline how this move wins for the white pieces. After the rook moves to that destined square, if the pawn captures the rook, the white pawn moves on square forward to secure a win (with checkmate) and if the black bishop moves, the rook simply captures the black pawn with a win (Checkmate).

The move was very unexpected, yet is so powerful, which makes the game of chess so beautiful. There have been many chess games that have caught great attention to chess critics to spend hours on end providing a concise yet thorough analysis of a well-played game.

Some of the most famous game ever played have been given the following titles:

- The “Immortal” Game (Between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky)

- The “Evergreen“ Game (Between Adolf Anderssen and Jean Dufresne)

- Bobby Fischer’s Game of the Century (Bobby Fischer and Donald Byrne)


I have spent most of this round arguing why it is not a good idea to coach a student to become a chess player while touching on why it is more beneficial to coach them to appreciate the game. I will spend most of R3 elaborating on why you should teach them to appreciate the game.


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And, to you, DarckShadows…



DarckShadows forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend all arguments.


DarckShadows forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


DarckShadows forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Xerge 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit