Chess is not simply a game, but also a way of life as it mimics our real life in many ways.
Many people do not even know that playing chess can teach us valuable lessons in and about life.
This game is a microcosm of how we make decisions in a short time under pressure, using creativity, evaluation and analysis, calculation, strategy, and continuous learning and development, among others.
Some of the most important lessons we can learn from chess are:
We need to be very creative while playing chess. The more creative we are, the better players we become.
With every move, we need to come up with a new plan or strategy, and without being creative, we won’t be able to do this.
The same thing applies in life – if we are not creative enough, we are not likely to succeed in life.
Making quick decisions
Competitive chess is usually played within a fixed time limit.
Often, especially towards the end of the game, we are likely to run out of time and need to rapidly decide on the moves we need to win the game (or at least, draw or not lose too badly).
Some of these decisions need to be made within fractions of a second due to the time limit.
But we can still win the game if we make the right decisions within that short period of time.
Similarly, there will be times in our life when we need to make quick decisions.
The better the decisions we can make quickly, the better the outcome will be.
It’s okay to lose
There is no game in this world in which a player does not lose. Chess is no exception.
It is alright to lose a game in chess, but what is more important is what we learn from our mistakes – chess and life are similar in this matter.
In life, we may sometimes lose in many different ways, but instead of focusing on the loss, we should prioritise analysing our mistakes and learning from them.
We should remember that we never lose, “we either win or learn”.
Bluffing is sometimes acceptable
Sometimes in chess, we need to act like we can win the game, even though we may be in a losing position.
This is equivalent to bluffing the opponent psychologically.
This confidence can throw people off and even make them uncomfortable, which can be used to our advantage.
The same thing with life as we may sometimes need to project an aura of self-confidence and strength, even if we don’t feel that way.
However, this always needs to be backed up with real abilities and skills, or else you will be trapped within your own bluff.
We cannot be rigid when planning our strategy in a game of chess.
With every move, we may need to change our plan or strategy based on our opponent’s move, therefore, flexibility is necessary when playing chess.
Similarly, in life, things do not always go according to our plan and the people surrounding us can be unpredictable.
Remaining flexible is an invaluable life lesson. The less rigid we are, the better we will be able to handle situations thrown our way.
Sacrifice may be necessary
In chess, we sometimes sacrifice a pawn or other pieces to enable a better move or attack later on in the game. The sacrifice we make helps us to win the game.
The same principle applies when we walk away from the chess board.
Sacrifice is a necessary part of life. Without the sacrifice of things like time, energy, money and emotion, we may never get what we truly want or what we really need to make our life happier.
Take notice of patterns
Being able to spot a pattern of behaviour gives us a psychological advantage. This skill is used in chess to identify the pattern of moves our opponent makes.
This enables us to better predict our opponent’s next move and might even allow us to find the weakness or vulnerability in their game.
Using this skill in real life will enable us to note the behavioural patterns of those around us and help us to come up with better strategies to deal with them, whether it be our family members or our colleagues.
Think ahead and outside the box
Chess trains us to think ahead and outside the box.
There are many times in a game when our plans are foiled and we need a better one to stay in the game.
Good chess players always think many moves ahead; this is a skill we will need over and over again in real life.
Thinking ahead enables us to plan and be better prepared for the various eventualities of life, while thinking outside the box helps us find solutions to pro-blems in ways that others may not have thought of.
Grab the right opportunity
In chess, whenever we get an opportunity to take an opponent’s piece that will improve our own position, we take it.
We should not ignore opportunities like this as they rarely come when we want them to.
So, when any opportunity is presented to us in the game, we should not just wait and see, but grab it.
The same goes with life. If we are given any small or big opportunity during our lifetime, we should not let it just pass by and hope for another one to come by again later.
We must seize these opportunities and do our best with them.
Be confident and stand your ground
We need to be confident in the moves we make. Chess is about making bold moves and standing by them.
In life too, if we plan or do something, we need to stand our ground and fight for what we think is right.
Be aggressive and take action
Whenever there is a problem or a threat in chess, we sometimes need to be aggressive and take action.
We either make a wise move for defence or a bold move for a strong attack.
This rule applies in life as well. Sometimes, we need to be aggressive and take action to change things or to make a difference.
Nobody should let life just pass by without going after the opportunities or things that they want.
We should have fun with every game we play. A game of chess should be enjoyed regardless of whether we win or lose.
This is most important in the game of chess and in everyday life too.
We should do what makes us happy and enjoy everything that we do.