General Question

weeveeship's avatar

Any problems with always being the winner?

Asked by weeveeship (4584points) August 5th, 2014

Got a situation that I want your input on. So, a local store has been holding bi-weekly tournaments for chess, with prizes. All tournaments are stand-alone, and there are no cumulative prizes for winning more than one tournament. Aside from the bi-weekly tournaments, there are also weekly casual play events on another day.

Recently, I won a resounding victory in a bi-weekly tournament. I think playing in a tournament is quite fun, and I am pretty good at making good moves and playing the game. I wasn’t even running any strange or tricky openings; just a standard Ruy Lopez as White and Sicilian Defense as Black.

There is another bi-weekly tournament coming up. I want to participate in that one, but I have some concerns. As I have already won the previous one in resounding fashion, there is a good likelihood that I might win the next tournament as well. However, I don’t know how other players and the store will take that.

Other players might get jealous and start accusing me of cheating, etc. (even though I always play fairly), or otherwise start acting hostile towards me. Further, the store owner might decide that having the same person always win his store’s tournaments is bad for business and might act accordingly. (To be sure, I did once quit another game where all the local tournaments were dominated by a couple guys because I didn’t see the point of going to a tournament where I am guaranteed to lose miserably. I think that at least some other players might feel the same way as I did.)

I suppose I could go and “give chance.” However, since there is an entry fee and I also have other things that I could be doing, I don’t want to go to a tournament and just lose games (or throw games, which is worse).

I was thinking of going every other tournament, so that way, other players would win the tournament on the weeks when I am not going. However, this limits me to only half the tournaments. Of course, I could go to the casual nights instead, but that may or may not work depending on the date.

So (and also TLDR), I want to ask you: Is there any issue with always being the winner? What should I do in this situation?

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18 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

How exactly do you cheat at chess when people are right there?

hearkat's avatar

I think that if you go consistently and no one is even close to rivaling you, the events may lose participants because they get discouraged.

Also, while you may find this enjoyable for now, won’t you become bored from lack of competition fairly quickly?

I’d suggest finding more challenging tournaments/competitions for yourself, but perhaps stopping in at that one every six-to-eight weeks to give people something to strive for. If the other participants aren’t cool with that, I bet someone will approach you about it.

weeveeship's avatar

@XOIIO Not hard, actually. Someone can complain about the touch-move, etc.

pleiades's avatar

This is the difference between the mindset of an athlete and the mindset of someone who thinks a lot. You my friend, think too much!

Go out there and DOMINATE. No questions asked.

talljasperman's avatar

With chess is how I met the woman of my dreams… then I creamed her twice in a row and she got angry and left me for the Scottish dude with the chainsaws in his dorm room. You have to let people win every so often, or they will stop playing with you.

cookieman's avatar

^^ That needs to be a movie.

pleiades's avatar

^^^I read that @talljasperman as a very naughty sentence

talljasperman's avatar

@pleiades merely coincidental.

SavoirFaire's avatar

One downside of always being the winner is that you never learn how to lose gracefully. And like @hearkat said, it could ruin the existing tournament by discouraging attendance. So I’m going to second her recommendation that you find a more challenging group of competitors and only visit the local store once in a while.

@pleiades An athlete would not be satisfied with weak competitors. There’s no real victory in dominating when there aren’t any obstacles to winning.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Go to the non tournament games. People wil see you play, without feeling shoved out of competition. Someone may feel intrigue enough to schedule private games. After a while, play the tournament again, you can establish your dominance that way, without messing things up for the others.
Who knows? You may get a regular circle of players to enjoy private games together.

El_Cadejo's avatar

No mercy. If I’m playing a game, I play to win.

Coloma's avatar

Hey, never shine less brightly to appease your opponents. A game is just a game but if you’re a natural, really good at anything, too bad if some spoil sports ego can’t handle a fair won victory.
I love to play Scrabble and am pretty damn good, have a large vocabulary, fast brain , strategic eye and there are times I feel a slight amount of self consciousness before I make my play and wipe someone out with a huge scoring word, but…should I dumb down to avoid anothers defeat? Nope.

kritiper's avatar

Some winners close their minds to other possibilities creating problems they will never see.

canidmajor's avatar

Where is the joy in always winning? If no one in these groups can challenge you, what’s the point? Why bother?

From your details I get the impression that you have won once, so far. If you do go on to win every time, then the others would not be “spoil sports”, they would be justifiably annoyed that you are choosing to show them up by not playing against people who might teach you something.

Pretty hollow victory, IMO.

LostInParadise's avatar

So far you have won only one tournament. Play in the next one and see if things turn out the same. If they do and you feel that you are a whole lot better than the competition then one thing you can do is to make it a teaching experience. Suppose you are playing again against someone you have soundly defeated before. At the start of the game, ask if it is okay if you point out when your opponent makes a really bad move. This turns things around. It is no longer about winning but about analyzing the game and communication and teaching and learning. In the process, you may sharpen your skills. There is more to life than just winning all the time.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I am a judge at craft fair. We have a rule that no artist may win best in class more than 2 times in a row. By giving others a chance the event is more enjoyable and has more participants. Even the previous winner benefits. By knowing up front that he is ineligible he can try something more risky and adventurous.

Is there any chance you can have a variation of the same rule?
If one person wins all the time attendance is sure to drop. Who is sponsoring the tournament and what is their goal? Do they benefit by having higher attendance?
Maybe after 2 wins you are not eligible to win the prize money but they let you play exhibition games for free.
After your exhibition year (a great honor, by the way) you are free to return the following year to trounce play again.

JLeslie's avatar

If winning does not move you through a significant fork in the road then I think sit a few tournaments out since you have other things that can occupy you and it might negatively impact participation in the events. I certainly favor sitting out rather than throwing a game. If you were in high school playing on the football team and dominated the field and wanted to use your skills for a college scholarship or even play pro I would say go out there and dominate every time you are on the field if your coach allows it, but the chess tournament is different. Maybe you can find a better match for your chess games. I think you will get bored if you win easily every time and you won’t learn new strategies. You could offer to help run the event if you want to stay involved. Or, maybe some of the players would appreciate tips on strategy from you. I play scrabble online and when I easily beat an opponent over and over I ask them if they want some strategy tips. One woman took me up on it and now after a few months we are pretty evenly matched. I used to beat her by a ton all the time; not anymore.

I think it is great that you are aware of how it might affect others.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Don’t worry. Enter some federation sanctioned tournaments and build a rating. If you’re offering up things like the Ruy Lopez, your continued success will come to an abrupt halt soon enough.

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