Time Essay: Why They Play: The Psychology of Chess

There is a class of men—shadowy, unhappy, unreal-looking men—who gather in coffee houses, and play with a desire that dieth not, and a fire that is not quenched. These gather in clubs and play tournaments...but there are others who have the vice who live in country places, in remote situations—curates, schoolmasters, tax collectors—who must needs find some artificial vent for their mental energy.

—H.G. Wells, Concerning Chess

THE players and their seconds now gathered in Reykjavik for the world championship match are neither shadowy nor unreal-looking men, and they are only occasionally unhappy....

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