Saturday, November 3, 2018
Another feature of the most dominant players — and this is common with most champions in other sports whom I’ve interviewed — is a remarkable degree of sadism in the competitiveness they’ve had to hone since early childhood. Bobby Fischer didn’t just want to beat his opponents, he wanted to crush their egos, he wanted them to cave in. Magnus Carlsen has admitted similar sentiments in several interviews — a deep pleasure in savoring the opposing player’s agony. I wonder what this kind of mindset does to you when you’ve given so much of your energies toward such a narrow pursuit, to the point of being unable to attain a rounded identity in other areas.