One of the best things about the Atlanta Chess and Game Center was the multifarious people, who came from every walk of life while having one thing in common: Chess. I thought of this while reading an article in the New York Times, How to Change Minds? A Study Makes the Case for Talking It Out. Below the title one finds the main point of the article: Researchers found that meaty conversations among several people can align beliefs and brain patterns — so long as the group is free of blowhards. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/science/group-consensus-persuasion-brain-alignment.html)
There were the habitués who would pontificate loudly, but usually anyone could get a chance to put in their two cents worth. There were a few blowhards and occasionally the Forhorn would blow. During the time spent working there it became obvious the blowhards were all far right of the political spectrum. One extremely strident wrong-winger lost it once, balling up his fist before slamming it into the glass counter top, shattering the glass. He was never seen again, thankfully.
From the article:
“Conversation is our greatest tool to align minds,” said Thalia Wheatley, a social neuroscientist at Dartmouth College who advises Dr. Sievers. “We don’t think in a vacuum, but with other people.” The new study “suggests that the degree of similarity in brain responses depends not only on people’s inherent predispositions, but also the common ground created by having a conversation,” Dr. Leong said.
The experiment also underscored a dynamic familiar to anyone who has been steamrollered in a work meeting: An individual’s behavior can drastically influence a group decision. Some of the volunteers tried to persuade their groupmates of a cinematic interpretation with bluster, by barking orders and talking over their peers. But others — particularly those who were central players in the students’ real-life social networks — acted as mediators, reading the room and trying to find common ground. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/science/group-consensus-persuasion-brain-alignment.html)
There were myriad “meaty conversations” at the House of Pain. The President of the Georgia Chess Association, Scott Parker, was also the Tournament Director at many events. Scott was called, “The Sheriff” behind his back because he did not care to be called “Sheriff,” but with his ramrod straight deportment it fit. When The Sheriff was in the House the conversations may have been “meaty” but they were “conversations,” not shouting matches. Scott was, whether he likes it or not, The Sheriff because of the respect everyone at the House had for him.
Writing these words caused me to reflect upon those days and nights at the House and how little conversation has been engaged during the pandemic. A phone call is not the same as actually watching someone engaged in conversation; nor is an email. With that in mind I have recently been reading comments left at various websites concerning the Magnus Freak Out affair. I spent time reading the comments left by Chess fans at various websites and after copying one, wondered why I did not copy an earlier comment, so I scrolled backward and did just that. What follows could be considered modern day conversation:
Always admired the World Champion but unless he speaks out to his proof this seems like a wussy move
emotional damage for niemann his chess career is done
He has an impeccable record with no controversy. If he believes something is wrong, I am inclined to agree
David Gil de Gómez
Why anyone would defend Magnus here is beyond me.
Unfortunately Magnus has too many dick riders who will keep defending him.
Disqualify Magnus for this behaviour.
A good lawyer sees a defamation suit against Magnus
Indian Sports Fans
King 👑 Magnus does it again.
Magnus Carlsen vs. Hans Niemann game today, a recap:
Magnus Quits.. Why. Can anyone explain. Pls. #chessdrama #chess
Magnus should not participate in events with Hans in that case. Or provide evidence for Hans cheating.
Neil Merryll 👌🥀
True its unsportsmanlike and he has no integrity
Magnus losing all his fans really quickly. Going down the Fischer lane..
I’m a huge fan of Magnus but this sort of behaviour is just bullish to say the least. It’s high time now that Magnus should come forward and SPEAK on the matter.
I feel this is some kind of massive troll, or publicity stunt. Most likely wrong but this just doesn’t make any sense.
This is the new Queen’s Gambit Declined
Magnus should have been sanctioned after the Sinquefield Cup, either he makes a full statement and provides some evidence, or he is banned from future tournaments. His actions are disrupting tournaments and every player, not just himself and Hans.
If he isn’t sanctioned, that raises another point about a wealthy and influential player owning his own chess server and how that affects fair play.
You’re in fantasy world sir.
Magnus should be banned from chess tournaments
this summed to the fact that he will not defend his title is really a shame. He should have been punished!
Mark J. Moser
I lost all respect for Magnus. Whatever Niemann did or not. Magnus should communicate and not just fan the flames of gossip and ruin the reputation of Niemann. The loser is chess!
Everybody turning against Magnus .. This is weird ..
Naa.. Hugely impressive move by Magnus in my opinion. Brutal forcing strategy.. no sweeping it under the carpet now and it will ALL come out.