Life and Chess

by | Jun 13, 2022 | Observations, Peter's Voice

I’ve taken up learning chess in the past year. I became interested in the game after watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. I was captured by the game and the players. I’m no good at it, but I find it fascinating to play. The depth of the game that takes place on 64 black and white squares is astounding.

There are three principles to the game that I see.

You have to stay present

I often lose because I’m trying to think a few steps ahead and don’t notice how the move my opponent just made changed everything. I think I’m so smart placing my knight on a square only to see it captured because they were a step ahead of me and blocked my move without me even realizing it. Not seeing all the pieces on board and how they can move is the easiest way to lose.

You have to know what you want

The goal, of course, is to capture your opponent’s king before they capture yours. But more than that, there are in-game strategies that can lead to victory. Randomly moving pieces around rarely leads to a win. Instead, following a plan seems much more productive.

You have to be flexible

But you have to be ready to adjust. If you are all set to march up the queenside of the board, and your opponents sets up blocks, You don’t keep pounding away. Instead, you switch tactics to counter their moves against you. The board changes with every move, and blindly following a strategy or staying on autopilot will lead to being checkmated quickly.

Again, I barely know enough about chess to fill a teacup. But, I can see how chess is an awful lot like life.

We always talk about the importance of being present, knowing what you want, and going with the flow. Following these three principles, every day will help you play your best game of chess and life.

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