Saturday, 18 January 2014

Can we all be pigeon-holed?

I've never thought that there is a specific personality type that goes with being a chessplayer. Of course there are certain 'types' of chess players, in a psychological sense, but there are enough distinct 'types' for me to think that chess players are no different than other groups in society. Being a chessplayer may mean you approach specific situations in a certain way, but  don't think this can be described as a personality trait.
I've seen a couple of articles on the psychology of chess players in the last couple of days. The first one actually takes the opposite point of view than I've just put forward. Ben Wyde believes that playing chess does influence your personality. He lays out his arguments for this in a post titled 'Chess, Stereotypes, and Personalty'
The other link is to a website that claims to determine your Chess Personality. It does this by asking you 20 questions, which are a mix of 'attitude' type questions, and position specific type questions. Based on your answer it gives you a 'personalty', a master you are most like, and a suggested choice of openings. Based on my answers I am a 'Champion', which makes me like Kasparov, and I should play Ruy Lopez, Queens Gambit Declined and the Sicilian. Despite the temptation to say "yeah that's just like me" I'm sceptical of its accuracy.

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