What about Sigmund Freud when we are talking about chess? I do not know whether you are interested in psychoanalysis as a chess player; however Sigmund Freud – founder of the psychoanalysis- seems to be interested in the game of chess as he refers it “the noble game of chess”.
Sigmund Freud wrote several articles on psychoanalytic technique between 1904 and 1919 in order to describe the application rules of psychoanalysis. On 1913, he started mentioning about chess to his article “On the Beginning of Treatment (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psychoanalysis”. It is interesting that he sees a similarity between chess and psychoanalysis in a way.
Sigmund Freud points out that in chess one may reach compherensive information about chess openings and end-games just by reading chess books, nevertheless for how to resist during the chess game one needs to be mentored by chess masters. Sigmund Freud explained psychoanalysis using analogy of “the noble chess game”. Just like “the noble chess game”, Freud indicated that he can only offer rules for the beginning of the psychoanalytic treatment, but the rest of the game/ process of psychoanalysis are unique for each pair/ players / psychoanalyst and analysand. The beginning and ending of psychoanalysis is far more certain than the process, and the process is defined by the exclusive approach of pair. The chess players learn opening and checkmate tactics, however they need to determine the chess moves specifically during that the process of a chess game. Each game is different from each other, as each psychoanalytic treatment differs from others. The psychoanalyst and patient is relatively alone and uncanny in the process. As well as the chess player is alone during a chess game, with all the information in mind, has to decide by him/herself for his/her specific moves according to the game. Maybe we may say that each chess game is a little uncanny just like each psychoanalytic application.
Below the words of Sigmund Freud (1913):
“Anyone who hopes to learn the noble game of chess from books will soon discover that only the openings and end-games admit of an exhaustive systematic presentation and that the infinite variety of moves which develop after the opening defy any such description. This gap instruction can only be filled by a diligent study of games fought out by masters. The rules which can be laid down for the practice of psycho-analytic treatment are subject to similar limitations.”
Freud, S. (1913). On Beginning the Treatment (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psycho-Analysis I). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XII (1911-1913): The Case of Schreber, Papers on Technique and Other Works, 121-144.
Counselling & Clinical Psychologist
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