Saturday, May 1, 2010

Check Mate

Chess is one of those games that, though you may think it is just a game, it is actually an effective training tool for life. You see, in life, we have choices to make, move your bishop here, take the knight with the queen and possibly loose your queen in the process. Get a mortgage and go into debt, quit your job and look for a better one, date that person, screw that person. Everything we do in life is a choice and each choice has a consequence.

The lesson learned in chess is how to look ahead by 'x' number of moves to determine the possible outcomes. If you have said or heard anyone say, 'I didn't see that coming', well there you go. You looked ahead and calculated all the possible moves and made an educated decision in reference to your next move it just didn't pan out the way you thought it would.

Half of my 7th grade semester was spent playing chess. I don't mean that it was a hobby but rather, in the private school I attended at the time, it was part of the curriculum. I would have to say by the end of the semester I was pretty good a chess. I was no Bobby Fischer by any stretch of the imagination but I won a few games here and there. To this day I still use chess strategies in my life, calculating my future moves.

Yet, whether times are tough or my life is getting complicated or my mind is getting duller with old age, I am finding it harder and harder to make the right decisions. It seems now that every move I make is met with my king in check or my opponent takes my queen with his pawn.

Perhaps the game is coming to an end. Perhaps I have to start over. Perhaps I am just reading to much into it all and I need to spend some time with my cat, learning to chill. Either way. Chess and life, life and chess. I thought it was an interesting analogy that I could share with you.


  1. The problem with chess is that it is a game of perfect information, so your choices can be rational and the consequences thereof necessarily spring logically from there. Life however is a game of imperfect information. Often you do not have enough information to make rational decisions and must adapt therefrom. In that way life is much more like poker than chess.

  2. You are so right. With the infinite number of variables in life how could anyone possibly predict the future? I agree. But at the same time there are quite a number of absolutes when dealing with life that one can have a vague idea of what's to come. And if you think about it, involving yourself in decisions that are chocked full of unreliable variables is a choice unto itself and in choosing that you can rely on the fact that the outcome or consequence is unreliable.
    To look at it another way, people count cards, read other peoples expressions, have an ace up their sleeve, while playing poker and narrow down their possibility of losing. I guess in this I am trying to say that even poker could be predictable based on the intelligence and experience of the player. Then again in poker and in chess there are rooms for mistakes, underestimating your opponent, which brings us around to another unpredictable variable again, OURSELVES.

  3. So are you going to hell in a hand basket or what?