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Life Lessons from Chess

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The classic game of chess is not just an ordinary board game. It is a battle of strategy and mental stamina. It can unlock your maximum potential and sharpen your critical thinking skill. Chess is defiitely a great game for both adults and kids because it not only teaches you to be better at every game but also in life. Here are some learnings that we can apply in life from playing chess. 

What are the life lessons you can learn from playing chess?

According to Garry Kasparov, one of the best World Chess Champions out there, “Chess is life in miniature.” Indeed, chess is a game where we can learn a lot of valuable life lessons.

Strategic and problem-solving skills

These are not innate talents but rather skills that require constant training and development. In life, these kinds of abilities are essential in any role or job you choose. It is all about logic and imagination on how you make things work. Chess is similar to a large puzzle. It needs to be “solved” in a puzzle, while in chess, you need to capture the king. At an early age, children can enhance their problem-solving ability by exposing themselves to the world of chess. 

Learn to acknowledge opportunities

Grandmasters spend hours playing and analyzing each move before they become what they are right now. Learning and memorization of the board and set up play a vital role to beat the opponent. Occasionally during the match, the opposing player makes an unexpected move, so learning to recognize each opportunity can lead to victory and success. However, failure to do so can lead to a loss. 

Act now and stop procrastinating 

Procrastination leads to poor decision-making, frustration, stress, guilt, anxiety, and in some cases, it can make your self-esteem low. By playing chess, you can practice anticipation that can help improve your decision-making and self-confidence. Take action in each move that the opponent is making because if you don’t, you are giving away your opportunities. 

Small changes can lead to better impact 

Small and precise moves are better than random and quick ones. That’s what makes Chess so fun! Similarly in exercising, doing the smaller routines consistently for a long time is more effective than doing hardcore routines once a month. What and where we are today will not be the same in the next. We are constantly evolving and getting better in the field that we chose. 

Do not self-loathe because of regret 

You can be your worst or best critic. In life and in chess, we are only given limited time and limited moves to climb our way up to victory. Remember that everyone can make mistakes but we have to learn to get through them and let go of the regret. Humbly accept compliments and do not view yourself in a hateful way. You have to practice forgiveness towards yourself and others, and develop self-compassion. 

Zugzwang can happen in reality

Zugzwang is a German word that translates to “compulsion to move”. In chess, Zugzwang happens when the player is at a disadvantage because the available moves possible for them are bad. The same thing happens in life. Sometimes we see ourselves in a situation where there seems no hope, but after one bad move, know that there will always be a way to get through the problem and fix it. 

Be adaptable

Some things will never be how we expected them to be. It is important to show skills and the ability to be resourceful. We must determine how to win the game by making smart moves and by thinking analytically.  Adaptability will be your number one advantage in almost everything in life. 

Sacrifice is necessary

A player may occasionally sacrifice his pawn to get the lines open. This will make an opening for future opportunities to their advantage. In life, we sometimes have to miss some things that will make us temporarily happy for something that will benefit us in the long run.

Calmness under pressure

Some might think that playing calmly under pressure only applies to athletes but playing chess also requires a great amount of focus and calmness. Composure is a must for a chess player since it’s difficult to think through every move if you will not ease yourself and create a space of concentration inside your head.

Always remember that in each game, no matter what type of game it is, there are always lessons that we can learn and apply to our lives. It helps us to discover our interests, get relevant lessons, and learn at our own pace. It also supports our ability to determine our goals, decision making, to take control of our learning. to help us deal with success and losses. Most of all, it helps us become a better version of ourselves.

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