How the Principles of the Game of Chess Apply to Life and Business

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The game of chess and the game of life are very much similar. Both require strategy. Both require planning ahead. Both require caution. Both will make-or-break your self-esteem unless you find a way to utilize patience and pay attention to the little things.

chess-and-life

I have put together some things I have learned over my 15 years that may help you learn from my mistakes. Enjoy!

Do not make careless pawn moves. They cannot move back.

  • Think twice before taking action.

Do not “castle” if it brings your King into greater danger from attack in your chess game.

  • If you can develop something other than your last-ditch effort, your chances of success improve vastly.

After castling, keep a good pawn formation around your King.

  • Always protect your most valuable assets. Even if a defensive move, it’s always good to have a second line of defense.

If you only have one Bishop, always put your pawns on its opposite color in your chess game.

  • Taking a proactive approach can prevent the unexpected.

Trading pawn pieces is a good strategy when you are ahead in material or when under attack.

  • Only negotiate down from your original goal when it is a win-win situation.

If cramped for moving space, free your game by exchanging material in your chess game.

  • Take away some unnecessary “clutter” so you can use the best resources.

If your opponent is cramped, don’t let him get any freeing exchanges.

  • Always seek to empower yourself, not to put yourself at a disadvantage.

Study openings you are comfortable with in your chess game, at the experience level you excel at.

  • Use strategies you have mastery in.

Play over the entire games, not just the current opening.

  • Always have a plan, not one step ahead but a minimum of two. It really helps to have a whole setup.

Blitz chess is helpful in recognizing chess patterns. Play often.

  • Try to think of the quickest, most efficient direction leading to win-win.

Study annotated games and try to guess each move in your chess game.

  • Think like your opponent and practice empathy at the same time.

Stick with just a few openings with White and a few openings with Black.

  • Try to limit your adversary’s options.

Record your games and go over them, especially the games you lost.

  • Don’t repeat mistakes! Always learn from your failures.

Show your games to higher rated opponents and get feedback from them.

  • Ask experienced adults/teachers/mentors for advice.

Use chess computers and databases to help you study and play more.

  • Never limit your options or your mindfulness, build relationships with a wide variety of different personalities.

Everyone blunders. The champions just blunder less often in their chess game.

  • Everybody makes mistakes.

When it is not your move, look for tactics and combinations.

  • Pay attention to the ideas of others.

Always ask yourself, “Does my next move overlook something simple?”

  • Measure twice, cut once. Double check your plan of action to make sure it’s good.

Don’t make your own plans without the exclusion of the opponent’s threats.

  • Think about what your rival would do if you take action.

Watch out for captures by the retreat of an opponent’s piece in your chess game.

  • If your challenger fizzles, think about how you can learn from their shortcomings.

Do not focus on one sector of the board. View the whole board.

  • It’s just like the principle of meditation that encourages you to plan your whole day in advance. Think about the big picture.

Write down your move first before making that move – it helps avoid blunders.

  • Things always look different on paper than in our mind.

Try to solve chess puzzles with diagrams from books and magazines.

  • Use a variety of sources to help you succeed.

Watch your time and avoid time trouble in your chess game.

  • Think before you act.

Bishops are worth more than Knights except when they are pinned in.

  • It’s easier to retreat into isolation that to face up to our mistakes.

A Knight works better with a Bishop than another Knight in your chess game.

  • It’s more productive to use at least two different resources, giving you a variety of ways to overcome obstacles.

Have confidence in your chess game.

  • If you have a positive attitude, you will be a positive person. Whether you think you “can” or you “can’t”, you are right.

Play in as many rated events as you can.

  • If you want to achieve success, never close your mind to any option.

Always play for a win in your chess game.

  • Try your hardest at everything you do, otherwise, what’s the point?

life-and-chess

Jake Gould

Junior at Stanton High School

Jacksonville, FL