You can’t go into the dark heart of the chess world without knowing about the fauna that reside there. Meet the subject of today’s lecture, partus-timeus patzerus, or the part-time patzer. The species shows variance in height and weight, but all wear a world-weary half-grin. The patzer takes frequent water breaks, finding the stroll easy on his mind. The more mature beast may carry a timeworn chess set from his youth. It’s easy to recognize this critter. Look for:
1) a self-effacing chess humor. This noble animal reacts to losses with a shake of his head. He understands his losses to be part of a cosmic destiny.
2) his constant threats to find another hobby.
3) frequent losses to little kids.
4) little opening knowledge or desire to accumulate any. He will refer to the French Defense as the “e6 opening for black.”
The part-time patzer prefers to sit between 1400-1600 USCF. He doesn’t stray too far from familiar surroundings. You will not find him playing on the weekends. Your best chance to catch him is on a weekday at the local club. He’s is capable of non-chess speech and less sarcastic than other groups. The part-time patzer may mock Wow, that is One Serious Chess Player. The former emits a funny gurgle whenever he loses to The Child Who will Soon be Better than You.
Study habits: The part-time patzer doesn’t use chess books, though he puts his games through Fritz out of sheer curiosity. Satisfied with his life he is happy to have a hobby he’s always enjoyed. With the passing of his chess ambition he has learned to take pleasure out of simple play. It’s just a great way to wind down an evening. His lack of study will impact his clock.
His preparation for opponents is non-existent. He may suffer from a variant of “same game syndrome,” or SGS, in which he plays the same inferior variation again and again. Every chess game presents a challenging puzzle for this affable hack. He makes a great, if unmotivated, chess partner since he does not want to augment his game.