As I promised yesterday, I followed my new idea. It all started when i posted on 16th November: Chess Player's prototype: nerd or smart?! How are we, chess players, seen by the other people from outside of the chess world? If on my previous post I included videos with commercials, supporting both opinions, this time i went in the city and asked people on the street:) Because I don't have my statistics program on this laptop, SPSS, I won't make you bored with charts and histograms, I will just briefly present you the results.
A few remarks before presenting the final conclusions:
1. From now on, I will change my attitude towards the people that are making a survey on the street...it's really unpleasant to get some grumpy looks, some impossible to understand mumblings (which are not the nicest words ever:) or a total ignorance. I had just one question...I can imagine how the poor investigators feel when they have to present a long questionnaire:)
2. Besides the above remark, I had to face a lot of perplexed looks, something like...what kind of puzzle is this?! An "I don't know" answer quickly followed and that was it. Lucky me that I am so stubborn:)
3. Finally, exactly like the baby who doesn't cry, doesn't receive food, I persisted and here you have my discoveries!
I shouldn't maybe use such a pretentious word:"research"...I didn't have the resources of a scientific study, but I am sure that the conclusions drawn from this small sample and the idea itself, could be successfully used for a larger investigation.
Information about the sample: 50 people kindly answered to my question, man (52%) and women (48%), with an average age of 29. I asked both men and women, young and old, in order to have representatives of all groups.
So, here I am, in Woerden, Holland, asking people on the street to describe in 3 words a chess player. Yes I know, differences might appear because of the two languages: English and Dutch; they might use the English words they know, instead of the ones they would normally use in Dutch. That's why I asked them to say the Dutch words and than, back home, my husband had to help me with the translation:) He enjoyed it very much:))
After saying these three words in their attempt to describe a chess player, I also asked them to range their words, from the most important to the least important, on a scale from 1 to 3. In this way, 1 is the most accurate word to describe a chess player and 3 the least. I did this in order to separate just some random words from the most meaningful ones. Than I put the similar words together in different categories:
6. Old person
7. Loser (in daily life)
After combining the mentioned words and the level of importance, I can bring you now the final conclusions:
As we already consciounsly or subconsciounsly assumed, a chess player is not the most popular person on this planet. The chess player prototype looks like as follows: an intelligent person (but only for his game or also, in a few cases, in sciences), who is living in his own world, failing when it comes to daily social life. Nerd, glasses, boring, focused and desperate to win, completes the picture.
What should we do with this information?! We, chessplayers, know that it's not completely true! Yes, we are desperately trying to win sometimes...and we get annoyed, frustrated, spending a lot of hours on this game. But for sure we are not boring! I have met the most interesting and difficult to understand people through and thanks to chess!
And...let's be serious: we can see glasses or lenses everywhere in this world, not only on chess players noses:)
We know that...but how to let the entire world know it too?! How to break the myths and misconceptions when it comes to our image?! Because this is our image and a character like Kasparov is considered to be the exception which confirmes the rule...
My idea is: Let's open the closed doors and reveal the wonderful, intriguing personality that lives in each of us! Chess is already considered to be a boring game, but what really counts is how we present ourselves! When we go to apply for a job, we pay some attention on which clothes we choose. Of course this doesn't mean we have to wear a suit everytime we play a game, but to make a small effort in looking presentable. We can make this game look entertaining and exciting, but we have to start the change with our own person. Otherwise, chess will be "like a dead language, very interesting, but for a very small group".(Sytze Faber)