I have read an article about Bobby Fischer who opted to go bowling instead of analyzing his game with Boris Spassky during their World Chess Championship Match in 1972 -
“Fischer's accomplishment cannot be overstated. A brash twenty-nine-year-old high school dropout, armed with little more than a pocket chess set and a dog-eared book documenting Spassky's important games, had single-handedly defeated the Soviet chess juggernaut. Spassky had a wealth of resources at his disposal to help him plot moves, including thirty-five grand masters back in the Soviet Union. Fischer, on the other hand, had two administrative seconds who served essentially as companions, and Bill Lombardy, a grand master, whose role was to help analyze games. However, Fischer did almost all the analysis himself—when he bothered to do anything. "After the games were adjourned, all the Soviets would go back to Spassky's hotel room to plan for the next position," recalls Don Schultz, one of the seconds. "Lombardy said to Fischer, 'That's a difficult position. Let's go back to the hotel and analyze it.' Fischer said, 'What do you mean, analyze? That guy's a fish. Let's go bowling.'”
I have recently tried bowling, at first just to have a feel of the game (again), but more importantly a way of getting rid of stress. With too much work at the office, countless meetings and tons of paperwork, I felt I needed an activity that can provide some form of stress relief. Good timing, as I would say, there is bowling competition that is about to come up and new players are needed for a team that would represent the office. Try-outs are being scheduled and I decided to join.
It is not my first time to throw a bowling ball. But after along hiatus, I know I needed some adjustments. In bowling, the stance, timing and the manner of throwing the bowl is important and crucial. I tried to knock out as much pins as I can. I felt a little rusty but I made some spares and a few strikes. I had a number of open frames and I know I needed more practice. My goal however is simply to enjoy the game. Anyway, fostering "camaraderie" was the main goal of this office sponsored bowling tournament.
I think chess and bowling are great sports to get into. Chess is a game that is usually full of frustrations and stress. As a mind game, playing chess can sometime drain your energy level to a point of exhaustion. Yes, this is true! Try asking chess players who regularly compete in tournaments. Sometimes, after the end of each game, it feels like it as if you have just taken a very long examination - tired and exhausted. This is what is ironic about chess - though the players do not move - the exhaustion is not only mentally but physically as well. In fact, if you want to play great chess, you got to be physically prepared as well.
After playing several chess games, there can come a point where a diversion is needed. Sometimes, chess players got to find something to vent out their frustrations on the chessboard. As a very mind taxing game, chess is a cruel sport. While during the game, there seems to be no physical movement except moving the pieces on the board, chess is actually a game that tests one's stamina.
As a diversion, bowling is a game that we can recommend to chess players. Hitting the pins is like an instant stress relief after a very difficult game of chess. After a continuous analysis of moves and its numerous variations, bowling can immediately get you in the mood. By just throwing that bowling ball, you can immediately feel a sense of invigoration and release of stress.
If you would like to try bowling, there are several bowling centers in Metro Manila such as the SM Bowling Center and those found in other malls. The rate per game though is higher during weekends.