Skimming around a few blogs this morning, I was reminded of the reason most people play chess: it evokes emotions.
I love attacking. I love the feeling before a game that I'm going to crush my opponent. I love when I'm on the ropes feeling that I'm not going to give in and that my comeback will break my opponent's spirit for weeks to come. I like the camraderie of looking at a position with others in the hopes of understanding it.
I hate the things I do that put me on the ropes. I hate losing.
The loves are the reason to play. The hates are the reason to get better.
I've always been a competitive person, sometimes to a fault. My wife won't play chess since I obliterated her during the games we played as I was teaching her ten years ago. I almost did the same thing to my daughter before my wife talked some sense into me and I eased up. We played a few games talking every move over and my daughter won a few: hooked.
Probably the biggest reason I play is the beauty and elegance that can come forth in a position. Working through Lazlo Polgar's Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games has given me a few "Wow!" moments where I just marvel at the solution.
Someday I'll make my own moment OTB.