This week I’m going to focus on some of the lessons or ways of thinking about life that I’ve learned through playing games. What better place to start than with one of the simple yet incredibly complex games in the form of chess. The beauty of chess to me is that there is really no right or wrong way to play chess, sure there are ways that lead to more wins in a given situation, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work every time. Therefore, it’s about finding you identity and your play style that works for you. For some people this finding of your playing style fits very well with their personality. They find that they are guarded and controlling and don’t want to give up any of their pieces. Other people are willing to sacrifice any of their pieces if it means getting to their end result. There are those who only use a couple of key pieces and those that use every piece and try to bring out the most value for each and every component.
When considering chess as a demonstration or subculture of life, it should be noted that chess is believed to have originated with humans as pieces. Therefore, what strategy you took would actually result in the death of actual humans. Thereby, shaping some of the strategy used by some of the players who cared about their pieces to an extent, and just adding to the sport or entertainment of those who didn’t care about their servants. I bring this up because one of the books I’ve read about how to improve at chess is to assign someone you know to each of the pieces. Then how you treat each piece becomes more important based on your relationship with that person.
Which when you consider the larger interaction with life, how you treat people in your own life is very connected to a game of chess. Are you the kind of player who is willing to just throw your friends or coworkers out to be slaughtered without really thinking about it? Or is each and every available option important to you. Do you have someone in your life who is like the queen, the all powerful piece, yet still vulnerable and targeted by others trying to drag you down? Do you have the rook who is solid and focused in the directions they want to go and are with you so long as you stay within the lines. Or there are the knights and the bishops of the world who are champions and voices of your causes, but who if you aren’t careful can be used in such a way that it hurts your end goal.
While most people might not learn the intricacies of chess, there are still basic parts of life that we can take away. Think of the 15 most important people in your life. Then decide is how I use and interact with them really appropriate for how much I value them?