A very dear friend of mine Bryan Cumby was kind enough at the start of this lockdown to begin to teach me how to play the game of chess. I have always had a desire to play this game and I am so happy that I now know. I may have a long way left to go but for now at the very least I understand the basics of the game. Many people used to talk abut chess to me and told me that I would think differently about things after learning how to play, something which I never really believed. I have to say that now that I can play a little, they were absolutely right.
This is a game which poses a different challenge from most, and here is what it teaches you with regards to thinking differently.
One thing which chess teaches you all about is the need to sacrifice certain pieces from time to time for the greater good, and this is certainly an important lesson for life. The idea that you don’t have to fight very battle, that you can occasionally give someone else a small win so that you get to win the war. This is something which we are not always very good at but it is something which is absolutely necessary, both in chess and in life.
Taking The Tough Decisions
Chess is all about taking tough decisions, deciding what to gain and what to lose, another important lesson which we can carry forward into our lives. Decisions are hard to make and sometimes we can be guilty of just not making them, taking the path of least resistance and perhaps closing our eyes to the problem. This is something which you are not capable of doing in the game of chess, you have to make the tough calls, there really is no option.
Power of The Little Man
My favorite piece on the chess board is a pawn, which may come as some surprise. Now the pawn can only move one square at a time and they can only move straight forward, with the exception of if they are taking a piece. When we compare the pawn with the all moving Queen or the bishop which can cross the board on a diagonal, the pawn may not seem like much, but these little fellas really pack a punch. These pieces are the perfect example of what can be achieved through tenacity and togetherness. You will usually lose a few helpers along the way but if you have a pwn who manages to make it to the other side, they can then be promoted to a queen, the most beautiful representation of what can be achieved with hard work, and strength in numbers.
These are just some of the things which you start thinking about when you begin to play the incredible game of chess. I have no doubt that there is much more to learn as we go.