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Go to any online chess server, there are lakhs playing and trying their best. These days there are even online coaches and titled players and people are ready to shed huge bucks for getting couple of hours sessions.

But given all this, i sometimes think: Why do people want to become a chess grandmaster or a titled player? What do i really get out of that - a high paid job? NO - a green card to US? - NO - free sponsorship ? PROBABLY NO - huge money? - NO (because once you become GM you have to compete with others similar to you)

Then why? why is there a craze to become a chess grandmaster, or a titled player?

If anyone has a good answer and a accurate ones, please reply with good points.

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Voting to leave open : it describes a psychological phenomenon common to chess players. I'm not saying the answer has anything to do with chess, I'm saying 1. there is an answer and 2. it's interesting to chess players. –  Nikana Reklawyks Jan 14 '13 at 0:05
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think it has to do with just having the title "Grand Master". Would I like to be a Grand Master? YES, but it probably would never happen in a million years. Unless you are probably in the top 10, you probably won't make a living out of it. I would suspect that those who don't make a living out of it, but still highly rated and play in international tournaments might have secondary jobs, but in the end, it is not about the money, it is about having fun.

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kudos to you for this: ` it is not about the money, it is about having fun.` upvote to you. But the strange thing is, people put so much effort just to have fun? Memorizing openings, reading books, spending hours analyzing, wasting money etc. If the same effort would have been spent elsewhere, i guess they would have raised their standard of living for sure. –  kingsmasher1 Jan 14 '13 at 5:54
@kingsmasher1, "If the same effort would have been spent elsewhere, i guess they would have raised their standard of living for sure." I think many feel that the effort involved in chess is rewarding enough in itself for it to have raised their standard of living in another sense entirely. You could say of any hobby or pastime (or vacation, or sleeping, or parents playing with their kids) that one's time could have instead been spent working on making more money. To each his own. –  ETD Jan 14 '13 at 10:36
@EdDean: "any hobby or pastime (or vacation, or sleeping, or parents playing with their kids)" no doubt these are hobby and good pastime too, but these just takes couple of hours or a month at max for a vacation, but does not take prolonged practice, concentration or study as chess. For people who are not into much of brain related work like clerks, or store-workers chess may help to keep sharpen their wits, but for people who are into software jobs, they should look at alternate hobbies which may relax their minds rather than strain, again it is individual choice and opinions can differ. –  kingsmasher1 Jan 14 '13 at 11:44
@kingsmasher1, my point wasn't actually about any one of the things I mentioned. My point was that one could just as easily say what you're saying about chess, about any use of one's free time, and so about the sum total of one's free time. That is, the point you seem to be trying to make about chess would just as well extend to all the rest of one's leisure activities that take time, leading to the conclusion that any use of free time in a way that doesn't have a direct impact on one's job skills is somehow strange or perplexing. But it's not, of course, and the same goes for chess. –  ETD Jan 14 '13 at 22:32
@xaisoft: Accepting your answer. Thanks –  kingsmasher1 Jan 27 '13 at 11:55
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Napoleon put it succinctly: A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.

Just a couple of points:

It is the same reason that students love getting "gold stars," and why there are so many badges on StackExchange itself. There have been volumes written on the power of peer recognition.

In particular, chess titles (for the most part) are a direct result of chess achievement. FM, IM and GM titles are all well-earned. No matter how much we might not care for a person, we know that if they have a chess title, they earned it. A GM title is the highest formal title, and it serves to inform your peers (and often yourself) that a certain level of expertise was attained.

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+1 for accomplishment, and proof, of expertise. OP, keep in mind that's not something money can buy. –  Nikana Reklawyks Jan 14 '13 at 0:06
I think a major reason is, people think putting brains in chess in turn would help them to sharpen their wits at their practical work, but alas most of them end up neglecting the later and giving more effort in their chess development only. –  kingsmasher1 Jan 14 '13 at 5:59
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