1000 hours wasted ? February 17, 2008Posted by dorigo in chess, games, internet, personal.
I recently gave a look at the statistics table of my chess games on the Internet Chess Club, and was left wondering whether I should rather spend more wisely my time. Indeed, here is the table:
In it, you can read the number of games I played, separately for each of the time controls used. The main categories are “bullet” ( one minute per player), “blitz” (two minutes to 15 minutes, if I recall correctly), plus the fixed “1-minute” and “5-minute” category, which include an automatic pairing system.
If you browse the numbers, you can see that I played a total of just about 10,000 games on ICC since I started with the handle “tonno” eight years ago. Ten thousand games correspond, very nearly, to about a thousand hours of play (5-minute games last on average 8 minutes, 1-minute ones on average 2).
1000 hours spent playing blitz chess! A thousand hours is a hell of a lot of time. They correspond to about seven months of work. In that amount of time I write on average two papers, sign 20 more written by others, present a talk at one international conference, and graduate a student. Am I wasting my life ?
I do not think so. Chess is a way to relax for me, and a very intellectually stimulating activity. I generate endorphines while I play. It is very nearly like a drug. And like a drug, it has anti-social connotations: my wife, in fact, hates it when I play online… But there is a sort of equilibrium which allows both of us to spend some evening time taking care of things we like.
Of course, the question remains… Maybe I could play a bit less and do other things instead. Well, yeah. Like, driving three hours to observe the night sky all night long….