Tonight I lost a lot of bullet(1 minute) chess games. I mean A LOT. I basically lost for about 20 minutes straight. After my session was over, I was angry. I mean REALLY ANGRY.
This is the first time in a long time that I have been “pwned” so badly. To make matters worse, my opponent was marginally abusive. Losing to a strong opponent is one thing but continuously losing to a jerk is a hard pill to swallow indeed. It’s times like these that I realize that chess should come with a warning label. Perhaps something like: “Warning: A side effect of chess improvement is an exaggerated ego. Losing at chess may be harmful to your sense of self worth.”
So what now? First things first, I have to recognize that my feelings of anger and self pity are my own fault. After all, it’s not my opponent’s fault for beating me but rather my fault for playing poorly. Furthermore, it’s my fault for continuing to accept challenges from someone who was an obnoxious winner. Finally, it’s purely my fault that I have allowed my ego to control my emotions.
After I identify and accept responsibility for a behavior that wrecked my mood, I am ready to “put a smile on my face” and rejoin my family. Do I feel all better? Of course not…but being a sour grape after losing isn’t fair to innocent parties and especially myself if plan on continuing to enjoy a game as great as chess. Besides, “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.”
– Ernie Banks