At its most intense, chess is a savagely competitive sport. Yet good manners, comradeship and even deep friendships are common.
The chess world is a small community with mutual interests. The appearance of a great player adds a glow to the common effort. And of course there is the irresistible appreciation of great talent.
When 21-year-old Carlos Torre brilliantly defeated Emanuel Lasker in Moscow in 1925, the latter hugged and kissed him. The world champion Jose Capablanca responded to the game with similar appreciation when he said: “I have the feeling that this boy will soon be defeating us all.”
Such responses may especially be characteristic of great players who feel secure in their own talent and contribution to the game.