Chess – The game of life teaches you the most valuable lessons in life. Two kings of different kingdoms, one belonging to “The White Kingdom” and the other to “The Black Kingdom” fight a bidding war against each other. It is not meant to be a physical war, like the ones which kings fought in olden days, with weapons. It is a mental war between two opponents who control the chess pieces. Every capture or move you make, leads to a consequence. Chess allows you to open your mind and think ahead of the present. When your opponent makes a certain move, you must be able to predict the reason for his/her move and his/her strategy for the next move. This helps you think to the fore and plan your counter move accordingly.
Learn from Chess
Everything on a chess board conveys something. The famous Thomas Huxley believes that every component in a chess board is something related to life. Knowingly or unknowingly, chess instils a sense of calmness in you. As you develop your skills of thinking and observing, you slowly descend down from your egocentric attitude. You come to a state, which makes you become one with yourself and the game.
One mistake that many players make quite often is that they are too bothered about criticism. People will condemn, question and criticise you. Every successful person has gone through this struggle. But, criticism should make you work harder, rather than put you down and make you quit.
As far as chess is concerned, there is no room for emotions. Chess is a game of SILENCE. So, while playing, it is always important to put our thinking filter on and stay focused. It helps in activating our brain in order to make proper moves and keep our emotions apart. “Emotions can influence a person. It can be impatience or frustration – allowing them to influence the mind results in a loss of concentration and distraction from learning, and restricts us from taking the right decisions and striving to achieve your goal.” mentions the well-known Indian chess player, Viswanathan Anand. According to him, it is important to structure our thoughts before making a move, when our mind is in a daze.
Know About the Kingdom
Each chess piece that belongs to a particular kingdom, has a certain role. Pawns are the soldiers which protect the king, queen and the ministers outside the castle walls. Rooks are considered the castle walls which protect the higher-ranked people. Knights also protect the castle and represent horses which were ridden during a battle. The bishop represents a church which many royal courts liked and worshipped. The queen is the most powerful piece, which shows that many queens fought bravely in wars. The king is not as powerful as the queen, but requires utmost protection. So, they all together constitute a kingdom.
Chess determines who you are as a person. The way you analyse and interpret the game can display your qualities. It helps you strive to find beauty and perfection in anything and everything you do. There are many qualities that one can discover and develop while playing or learning chess.
In chess, there is equality. The players are not discriminated against on the basis of their country, caste or gender. While playing chess, all players are equal. Chess also helps in establishing connections across the globe. People belonging to different communities play the game of chess as ONE united community.
Understand Perspective of Life
Chess helps you gain a broader perspective of life. You either win or lose. Everything is always not the same and things will keep changing in life. People will come and go, and nobody will stay with you all your life. When you win or lose, it is not the end. It teaches you that no matter what happens, you have to keep going until you reach success. After all, there is something called fate that should be accepted by everyone.
Thus, chess contributes to having an open mind, thinking and observing skills, focus, accepting criticism, being emotion-free, organised thoughts, relaxed mindset, good personality, equality amongst players and knowledge about a broader perspective of life.
Many people must get into the habit of playing chess in order to acquire all these skills and overcome their erroneous assumptions about life. It helps you think better before taking important decisions. It also makes you sit down for a moment and just THINK for yourself.
Let us all play the game of chess, to master the game of life!
By: Smruthi Sivakumar