Close Season Blues

A recent study of football fans suggested they suffer severe withdrawal symptoms and depression when the season ends, (or during in my case!) they go on to say the football-free summer could leave up to two thirds of football fans - nigh on 10million  people, with "end of season affective disorder".

Some of the symptoms include;

  1. Signs of depression,

  2. Lethargy,

  3. Inability to converse (are they sure it was football fans studied? This is a chess trait if ever I've seen one!)

  4. A feeling of hopelessness,

  5. Inability to focus,

  6. A lack of direction and

  7. Irritability

I see a pattern emerging here, all seven symptoms occur in players and during every game of chess we've ever played! With the obvious exceptions of Elation and Joy.

Dependence is part of the human condition, we depend on our family, friends, interests and jobs to construct our identity and give meaning to our lives. Without the regular 'fix' of over the board competition we become strung out, laboured, lacking direction - Take a look around any town or city centre and you'll see dozens of shoddily dressed men talking in to empty wine bottles and beer cans.

You thought they were tramps didn't you? WRONG! Its close season chess players reciting variations of the French and Sicilian!

What do we do with ourselves in this situation?

  1. Its the perfect time to practise a new opening to unleash upon an unsuspecting soul come the new season.
  2. Its an opportunity to remove the books from their job of stabilizing the 'rickety chair' and impart the knowledge held within!
  3. Its when the chess club invite an esteemed (and needy) GM/IM to come and destroy the clubs local heroes in 12 moves.
  4. Its the most opportune moment to hold a two-day rapid-play where nobody turns up! (only kidding!)
  5. Its the holiday period, a time to reflect on the many fine wins you've notched up throughout the season... maybe not then!

When stuck at work staring vacantly at a monitor, there is nothing to look forward to, there is no chess, its the close season, we long for the halcyon days of a 50 mile round trip to have our car windows broken and radios stolen, but we played a hell of a game!

Its OK though, only 4 months, a 124 days, just 2967 hours, a mere 178,020 minutes  or 10,681,200 seconds until our next league match, (not that I'm counting!)