Does playing chess make you happy? Perhaps the answer might not be as obvious as it first appears. When we win, then of course we are happy; but when we lose we are quite the opposite. Chess can be bruising to the ego and for most of us there is always someone better than you who can give you a painful lesson.
So is the joy of winning greater than the pain of losing? Dan Heisman believes that the ability to tolerate losing "just right" is one of the three important attributes that it takes to become a good chessplayer. To find out the other two see the article!
Tolerating losing "just right" means not caring so little about losing that you "don’t care and keep making the same mistakes, but also not caring so much that you are paralyzed by losses. The best is in-between: the ability to keep losing while simultaneously learning how not to repeat your mistakes."
So do you think chess increases the net amount of joy in the world, or is every joyous winner balanced out by a miserable loser? Is chess a nil sum game of happiness or does just playing the game make you happy, regardless of the result?