I have become increasingly engrossed in the world of chess. As Bobby Fischer himself has stated, and I share similar sentiments, all I want to do, ever, is just play chess. The chess club I recently joined at the university I attend is perfect for me. Picture a big room with a high ceiling and oak walls--something not unlike an old English club minus the cigar smoke, but very aristocratic looking--and in there some people playing blitz chess, others kibitzing, others discussing the Critique of Pure Reason, and others analyzing chess positions. Each one contributes to the chess world in his own way. Each is chess. Among the club are some masters and high-rated players--with actual ratings around the 2000s. At one point, people began playing through a game played by masters and analyzing a particular position for about half an hour or so. I was particularly interested in the fact that upon trying a given contingency some would bluntly say outloud, "that doesn't feel right" or "that can't be good." Note that in this sense "feel" is used to denote intuition, that is, perception of truth without calculation. And often, once the following moves were calculated it turned out that the intuition was correct, though not always. Nonetheless, I thought the role of intuition as forming judgments from the basis of snapshots of the chess board was interesting, and that often the intuition would inform the rational calculations. I was also pleased that my visuo-spatial pattern faculty was sharper than usual. I was seeing moves that persons rated 2000 weren't seeing until 2 or 3 moves later. I won a few games in blitz against players rated 2000. And the games I lost were mostly due to time trouble. In early October, I will be competing in a pan-American qualifier at my university, which will be sending a team of six players to the pan-Am open tournament in the US. I have a shot. Therefore, in the next month I will apply a strict chess regimen in preparation.
But going back to the idea of chess culture, I am curious what your thoughts on it are. You can talk about coffeehouse chess, street chess, tournament chess, club chess, and so forth.