How Chess Can Inspire a Winning Mindset for Life

Lessons From Beyond the Board

The gentleman moved his rook to E5; it was a tense situation, the fate of the championship trophy hanging in the balance. Then followed a beautiful series of moves never before heard of in the history of chess; it was this fateful game set in 1834, where two masterminds battled in a clash of titans, mesmerising the crowd with each move. This match was between McDonnell and La Bourdonnais, each being grandmasters of their time. Even to this day, the replays give me goosebumps, more so than even the most thrilling cricket or football game. The common perception is that chess is for society’s so-called ‘nerds.’ Then comes the misconception that to master chess, you must be born gifted or the age-old saying that “Chess is like war on a board.” All of this becomes a hurdle for new players, chess can inspire the fear of society judging them.

Chess Can Be Played Anytime

We play chess all the time, whether at work or school; our life is a congregation of characters and moves, all playing out on the massive chessboard we call our history. Chess isn’t about glamour or having the right accessories; rather, it’s about having the right mindset and approach. We often find young individuals who have a hard time analysing and finding impactful solutions to problems. If we wish to build a new world that revolves around innovation and change, how are we supposed to do so if the emerging workforce isn’t equipped to thoroughly grasp the hurdles at hand? Chess isn’t just a board of 64 individual squares and 32 pieces, it’s much more than that; it is a philosophy towards innovatively solving problems and doing so consistently in all paths of life.

Yes, chess may be a war on a board, but it is a tool to practice and prepare for the hurdles we will face in the future. The truth is, chess isn’t limited because it has only six distinct pieces. Instead, it is limited to only our imagination and the circumstances we can create. A better way to picture this is to look at a list of all games that can be played on a chess board; the number might astound you, summing up to a gargantuan 10^120 combinations or one followed by 121 zeroes. This proves just how limitless the world of chess is and the beauty is that it can play a massive part in the way we look towards life.

Know More About Chess Board

Imagine for a moment that your whole life was laid on a chess board, all the individual pieces representing the various resources or people you can pool. What if we changed our perspective towards the problems that lay ahead of us (quite literally)? What if, rather than worrying about potential consequences, we made up our minds and took a multi-fold approach towards our problems, thinking about possible solutions and ways to react to different circumstances; that is the beauty of chess. Chess is a mindset we inculcate in our journey of life; imagine what the ancient Indians thought when they invented Chaturanga or how the Arabs reacted when they first discovered it. There was always one motive, to display life’s happenings in a way to best explain it. This explaining might have been done of wars or important events, possibly even marking potential outcomes or things of lore; whatever it was, chess was the go-to.

Chess Can Play Smartly

Let us look at another perspective; just like how we refer to sinister plots or someone having played ‘it’ smartly, all we really refer to is how they played their moves and used the resources at hand. Chess is the ability to be resourceful and make the best of everything. Now that we are well aware of the limitless world that chess is, how can an individual benefit from it? It is essential for us to look at this world with a blank slate, without harbouring any prejudices; whether it be a world chess champion or even you dear reader, all of us play on the same board, marking our influence through our innovation. The truth is, anyone can play a marvellous move, just like how innovators discover new ideas. A good move may as well seem like a mistake, but after all, so many inventions seemed like a mistake to their creators at first.

The biggest takeaway from chess is the sort of positive temperament that we can build through it and learn how to be as practical as possible. The next time you face a challenge, how about take a moment to understand where all the pieces lie and then formulate a winning strategy for your first move? Chess gives you that edge, helping you manage the sorrow of defeat and control the outburst of success, after all, isn’t life just one big game where you get one shot, how about we make the best out of it? Another essential skill is having the ability to make informed decisions and even possible sacrifices; knowing what to let go off and what to go forward with is the epitome of good decision-making.

Chess in Experimenting

Chess isn’t too philosophical; it’s all about experimenting and having fun, sometimes it’s amusing to find the different ways you can lose; give it a shot! Sportsman spirit and fair play mark the fundamentals of chess, and mind you; chess is as challenging as some of the marvellous outdoor games out there. Remember, the next time someone calls you out for playing chess, say that you’re perfecting the game plan for your life and watch them scramble for wanting their own! This game is about creating that vision but first inculcating it, if not as a challenge, view chess as a source of inspiration; some of the best war strategies have been formulated while playing this wonderful sport. Of course, chess is also a game for leisure; take the time to sit back and relax to watch an intriguing piece of art unfold in front of you and appreciate the uniqueness behind every player’s thought and the dedication they have towards every single move. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn chess and give you another reason to showcase your talents to your friends?

Final Thought

It is all about the journey, dear reader; this mortal world will always turn to war, whether that be on the battlefield or a chess board is for you to decide. It is time to rethink this journey and form our unique paths to tread on using the omnipresent power of this historical tool, chess.

I feel it prudent to quote the following lines,

“The beauty of chess lies not in its pieces but in the endless possibilities that arise from it. Chess embodies the power of the human mind to envision and execute complex actions, revealing the true potential of human intelligence.”

By: Siddhant Pankaj Kaore

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