Chess is a two-player sport, where each player has to utilize one’s eight pawns, two bishops, two rooks, one queen, and one king in order to seize the opponent’s king in sixty-four squares. Although some may view chess to be a simple game that does not require any physical movement, it is a game that requires the use of strategy and various skills. This complexity of chess heavily reflects human society. In this essay, I will discuss how chess reflects the human society in aspects of creativity, competitiveness, and inequality.
Creativity is one of the human aspects which chess reflects. Humans tend to think creatively outside the box in order to overcome challenges. Modern society requires creativity which helps advancements in fields such as technology, art, and science. Similar to human society, chess also requires creativity. Each game of chess provides unique challenges for the players as it is necessary to find the most efficient way to outplay the other player and consequently seize their king. Furthermore, society and chess encourage individuals to utilize their sense of creativity to solve various problems by establishing strict laws. In society, humans must follow strict laws which determine an individual’s success. Similarly, in chess, the players must follow the rule to move each of the unique chess pieces accordingly. This limitation, in both chess and society, creates an environment that requires a person to incorporate creative thinking, which highly applies to success and failure in the future.
Competitiveness is another human aspect that chess reflects within society. Both chess and society have inevitable competition. Humans in society must compete with each other in order to gain high status and power. For example, students compete against each other to gain access to prestigious universities, such as Harvard. Similarly, chess also requires competition in order for a player to seize victory because A player could not play chess alone. Correspondingly, chess and society both show superiority. In society, people with superior wealth and power tend to have higher social status. For example, students with high grades and prestigious backgrounds gain higher accessibility to major companies, such as Apple. In addition, chess is also played in a competitive context where players must compete with each other to determine who is the most skilled player. Thus, competitiveness is a shared feature between human society and the sport of chess.
Furthermore, chess reflects the inequality of social life. Some people in society face huge privileges as they were born into rich families which would support the individual’s life with high education while some people are not born with those privileges. Chess players are also born in different conditions, which may bring privileges for certain players as they have been educated about the wiser patterns and choices they may perform during the game, while some individuals are not educated about chess. Moreover, not every person is born with the same inherent talents. Some people tend to have talent in special aspects of social life. For example, some people with the talent of making everybody happy can use their talent to become a comedy man and some people with a talent for singing can use their talent to become a singer. This difference in inherent talents brings additional privileges to certain individuals in comparison to the individual who continuously works to achieve the same position. Similarly, some people tend to have a talent for playing chess. For example, people with a talent for observing and making decisions tend to benefit from winning against opponents in chess in comparison to other people who don’t have that talent. Therefore, chess reflects the inequality of social life in modern society.
However, chess does not reflect all human aspects within society. Unlike chess, there are some individuals who do not follow the rules. Chess is a game that requires individuals to follow the rules, such as one player being able to move one chess piece at a time. However, in society, some individuals can move freely without being constrained by the law. Criminals are examples of individuals who do not follow the law of society. In addition, chess and society show different aspects of communication. Human society shows an aspect of communication while overcoming competitive challenges. As an example, teachers communicate with other teachers in order to make challenging problems for the students to develop their own skills. In contrast, chess players do not communicate with their opponents through verbal or physical communication, which does not help to develop the communication factor of the human aspect.
In conclusion, chess reflects many human aspects such as creativity, competitiveness, and inequality within society.
By: Won Hee Park