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February 2, 2017

By Sean Hampton Cole

Pack the chess board, guys. One of the world’s oldest games of strategy, chess is much more than out-manoeuvring and defeating your opposition. It’s a strong metaphor for life. Here is why chess is like life.

1. IN CHESS, EVERY MOVE HAS A PURPOSE. Life obviously cannot be lived with this much unceasing calculation, nor should we want to live it that way, but there are times when we must align our actions with a predetermined strategy, instead of bumbling through it.

2. SEIZE THE INITIATIVE. If you wait around for someone else to make a decision for you, they will… and you probably won’t like how it turns out.

3. LEARN TO SPOT PATTERNS. There are often clearly defined lines of success that work well. Learn to see these when they repeat, and take advantage of them.

4. [HOWEVER] DON’T GET STUCK ON THE FORMULA. A little bit of creativity and lateral thinking can often take you to new height.

5. IF YOU ONLY PLAY PATZERS, YOU NEVER REALLY IMPROVE – take on a few tough challenges, and even if you lose, try to learn something new.

6. CUT YOUR LOSSES. Sometimes you are going to lose material. Try to minimise your losses and move on… Be flexible. It seldom goes the way you planned – adjust and continue.

7. SOMETIMES YOU GET STUCK IN A POSITION KNOWN IN CHESS AS ZUGZWANG: where whichever move you make is a bad one. This is just the way it goes sometimes, in chess and in life.

8. BE PREPARED TO SACRIFICE MATERIAL FOR POSITION. Sometimes even the greatest material sacrifice can result in a winning position later.

9. WE ALL BLUNDER FROM TIME TO TIME. This does not mean we should give up and run away. Often when you’re sure there is no way out after a bad mistake, you will be given a lifeline.

10. HOW YOU START A GAME DETERMINES HOW YOU WILL FINISH IT. Play wisely. Accumulate advantages. The little guys on your side matter. Look after them.


12. SURPRISE AND IMPRESS people with unconventional moves…

13.BREAK THE RULES – but only if it serves a good purpose

14. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE in order to achieve a break-through.

15. CONNECT YOUR PIECES CLEVERLY. Collaboration and cooperation are the keys to success.