Chess is an excellent game that is considered by numerous as a game of sport, science and an art. It’s likewise perhaps the most seasoned game in mankind’s history. As chess players learn and refine their chess standards and principles through time, certain repetitive examples start to rise. Chess standards and principles frequently mirror real life situations and offer significant bits of knowledge. Various aspects of the chess game are reflected throughout everyday life. The progression of the chess pieces, where the King is the most significant piece and the pawn is the least significant in most cases, mirrors the hierarchy that exists in the public settings, and the society at large. No wonder, the legendary American chess grandmaster, Bobby Fischer popularly described chess as life. Seven important chess principles, standards and in-game strategies that can be applied in relation to life have been highlighted

  1. Focusing at the centre of the board
    Focusing on the focal point of the board exposes one to the early struggle to occupy significant squares at the centre. Throughout everyday life, one must possess and occupy one’s own life’s focal point (such as health, self-love, funds, e.t.c) as it helps to make the best decisions in life. If this is achieved, one would be set up for onward progress. Chess always teaches one to play for the advantage no matter how small, and if one already has it, it should be maintained. One must always be ready to cease the initiative if it isn’t in possession, because the best way to predict the future is to create it.
  2. Exploring all options on the board.
    Sometimes, life’s activities can be overwhelming such that it makes one narrow-minded; focusing on the present without putting down markers for the future. If the focus in a chess game is only on spots where the action is happening, one tends to miss opportunities and same is life too. One must always be able to see the bigger picture when carrying out activities to discover if there is something to be done differently. It is the first step to self-motivation and thus, bigger achievements. A smidgen of inventiveness and horizontal reasoning can regularly take you higher than ever; as such, don’t get stuck in the mire of overthinking. Always have an escape route by keeping your choices open.
  3. Patience in making decisions.
    One of the most common traits of chess grandmasters is patience, especially in prolonged time controls. They keep on accumulating advantages on the board by thoughtfully making every decision which ultimately gives victory. To not make hasty decisions is maybe the most significant lesson you can learn in chess. You can apply this standard in your life by deferring your delight. Patience can take you exceptionally far in the game and your life. You realize you’re exercising patience when you want to use your time and not race through it. You can do this by focusing more on quality and less on time. Chess teaches one to always remember that patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
  4. Emphasizing piece development.
    Know what to do, when to do it and how to do it is one quality of good chess players. When these pieces such as the knights, bishops and rooks aren’t developed, they end up underutilized, pinned down, locked up or even sadly unused all through the game (life); same goes with people talents and skills. Chess teaches one to avoid the opening distractions of capturing pawns and carefully and purposefully developing major and minor pieces. In life, one has to learn to avoid distractions, especially at early stages while mobilizing our pieces to have a desirable future. When developing, one must apply effort to learn skills, to practice, to contribute, and to choose work worth pursuing. Remember, how you start a game (life) determines how you will finish it. Play wisely.

5. Take control of open files.
In chess, long-range pieces such as the queen, bishops and rooks are more potent on open files (a column on the board without a pawn) and diagonals as tend to have maximum utilisation and effectiveness.
Being at the right place at the right time is the first step in attracting opportunities. In life, there are skills and activities that open one to opportunities. Find and strive to be available to learn such skills and activities as these are life’s open files. Remember, luck is when one’s preparation meets an opportunity!

  1. Learning the art of sacrifice.
    The art of being able to sacrifice for the greater good is an interesting quality of top chess players. This might sometimes require the queen being lost for a winning move. In life, the inability to sacrifice precious things such as time, money or even relationships for the greater good has inhibited the exploits of people. Chess has taught us that the most rewarding opportunities and rewards are hidden behind sacrifices.
  2. The quality of being persistent and moving forward purposefully
    In chess, each move has a reason. Life clearly can’t be lived with this much continuous calculation, nor should we like to live it as such, yet there are times when we should adjust our activities using a strategy that works, rather than blundering through it by making irrational decisions. Every move in chess must have a purpose and so in life to have a favourable end game. Also, never giving up even after losing a minor piece is a quality of winners as chess has taught that no game has been won by resigning.

Chess Guardian

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