Chess: A Metaphor For Life

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It is widely recognized that playing chess develops intellectual ability and mental discipline. Relatively less attention has been focused on the paramount role of decision-making in the game.

Chess is a metaphor for life. In both, we are presented with a stream of situations offering choices among competing and often unclear possibilities. It’s always our move and the clock is always counting down.

Exploring sequences of possible moves and outcomes in either can be exciting or dull depending on one’s resourcefulness and fighting spirit. Wisdom in both chess and life teaches us to recognize the extraordinary possibilities that exist in all but the most hopeless situations.

Chess computers have a fiendish ability to prolong the struggle by unearthing hidden resources. They do no get distracted, tired or discouraged. A human who plays in similar fashion is terrifying to those who face him.

A warrior mentality is a priceless asset for all who would stand tall in either sphere. In chess, the great world champion Emanuel Lasker was supreme in this regard. According to the Oxford Companion to Chess,”Lasker knew that in a series of games he would sooner or later makes a mistake. When this happened he was prepared, remaining calm, and immediately seeking the best course in a changed situation.”

– Lyman, 12/7/01