Pestaño: Man kills self to play chess in afterlife

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


THE basic instinct of man is survival. However, since the 1950s the suicide rate has almost tripled for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Self-harm now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined.

Suicide is a major worldwide epidemic, taking the lives of more than one million people a year, according to the World Health Organisation.

The common link among people who kill themselves is the belief that suicide is the only solution to a set of overwhelming feelings. The attraction of suicide is that it will finally end these unbearable feelings. There are some exceptions though.

In general, people try to kill themselves for several reasons. Depression is the most common. Psychosis, and those who are impulsive and aggravated by drugs, are also major factors.

There are also some who have a philosophical reason to die like terminal illness.

They want to control their own destiny and are neither depressed nor psychotic.

There are also altruistic reasons like the kamikaze pilots of Japan, the suicide bombers and the self-immolations among Buddhists and Hindus.

Another unique reason is nararated in this story last week.

Two men in their 50s were found dead in Jinhua, China .One had been strangled and the other had consumed pesticide.

The younger man, surnamed Liao, had left two suicide notes, saying that he was lonely and wanted to have someone to play chess with in the afterlife.

The first suicide note talked about his family. He got divorced more than 10 years ago, and his daughter refused to see him or talk on the phone.

The second suicide note was brief, and said he wanted his best friend to die with him so that they could play chess together in the afterworld.

Some said that the two men won’t be playing chess together, because Liao would be in hell and Ju would be in heaven.

Here are some famous masters who committed suicide.

Curt von Bardeleben was a German master, journalist, and member of the German nobility who committed suicide by jumping out of a window in 1924.

Josef Cukierman was a Russian master who committed suicide in 1941.

Carl Theodor Goering was a German professor, philosopher and chess master who died in 1879.

Karen Grigorian was from Armenia and jumped from the highest bridge in Yerevan in 1989.

Norman Willem van Lennep was from Holland who killed himself by jumping into the North Sea, at the age of 25.

Lembit Oll was an Estonian grandmaster. Oll, who fell into severe depression after he divorced. He committed suicide by jumping out of the fifth-floor window of his house in 1999.

Rudolf Swiderski was from Germany who committed suicide shortly after his 31st birthday, allegedly because he could not face an operation.

Alvis Vtolis was a Latvian master. He committed suicide by jumping onto the frozen ice of the Gauja river from a railway bridge in 1997.

Former national sub-junior champion and four-time state champion IM Sankar Roy,36, was found hanging at his residence in Tala Park in North Kolkata last May 9,2012 .A suicide note was found in the room.

Jessie Gilbert, 19, downed a cocktail of drinks with a friend before apparently throwing herself from her room last July 26, 2006 during a chess tournament.

The child chess prodigy who plunged to her death from an eighth floor hotel window was depressed as her father was on trial for raping her.

Another story is that the death was accidental after her friends revealed that she had suffered from sleepwalking since childhood. Her mother though insisted that her daughter took her own life. She spoke out after the inquest into the 19-year old’s death.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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