LETTERS: Play chess, not games

Viswanathan Anand is now World Rapid Chess Champion. The five-time world champion (in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012), Anand has become two-time world rapid chess champion (in 2003 and 2017) as well.

The 48-year-old has shown how an attitude of mind can turn back the clock and give ripe old age for chess a competitive edge. Let us now move from ageless Anand to ceaseless chess. Indeed, chess is ceaseless! It gives us the feel of infinity. The 64-square game unfolds never ending possibilities.

When we play chess, we find ourselves composed. It is a game that magnets all our being to a particular point of finding which of the moves will be a better one. Indeed, chess players say, “This is a good move”, or “This is a better move.” But they never say, “This is the best move” because that cannot be said in this game of infinite possibilities which is still unfolding. This was the reason why Siegbert Tarrasch said, “Many have become Chess Masters, none has become the Master of Chess.” Our children should be advised to play chess instead of cruel, silly, bang-bang video games.

Chess will increase their IQ; power of imagination and concentration. It will also rescue them from sadistic video games that can turn innocent, impressionable minds into trigger-maniac, insensitive brutes. Indeed, the World Health Organization is now preparing a draft to classify persistent video gaming as an addictive health disorder.

On the other hand, a study shows how four months of chess instructions has, significantly, raised the IQ scores of both boys and girls of 4000 Venezuelan students. Studies have also revealed that the game of chess helps both young and old to have a sound cerebral health. According to a study, people of over 75 years of age who engage in brain-games like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their non-board-game-playing contemporaries.

A German study says that when chess players are asked to identify chess positions and geometric shapes, both the left and right hemispheres of the brain become highly active.

Sujit De, Kolkata

Address it

Apropos of the news story “Ncell profit repatriation to affect banks” (THT, December 29, Page 10), just one Ncell, a FDI, has shaken the banking sector in Nepal. Just imagine what would have happened if we had 100 FDI like Ncell! Over the years finance companies and cooperatives have closed down.

Are our banks too big to fail? They are certainly not in Western democracies. The government needs to address this issue seriously. With drying deposits and a few big withdrawals, the banks may face some real heat in 2018. Their hope for catching billions of election expenses may be a daydream as most of it may have flown away or stashed under the beds. And if the government was to accept their suggestion for operating government accounts through them, the government might as well nationalize the banks.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu