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Why Chess ??

GM Swapnil Dhopade & Sanjeev Nair

GM Swapnil Dhopade & Sanjeev Nair

Team Chess Pathshala

  1. September 20, 2020

Why Chess ??

“CHESS – is not always about winning. Sometimes it’s about learning , So is LIFE!”

Hello Dear Readers,

Open up your web browser and search for the benefits of chess. There will be a plethora of links, articles and stories that pop up.

  1. It improves concentration,

  2. it helps in logical reasoning,

  3. helps you grow as an individual and all of that.

Yes. But what you’re going to realize at the end of this article is-

  1. how effective the game is, and

  2. how chess is a reflection of life;

  3. the impact a game of chess has on a player and what keeps him/her going.

Pic / Here are some of the Benefits of Playing Chess! that you all must have come across!!

Ever came across a chessboard and asked yourself, what could possibly be the reason people find this interesting?

After all it’s just 64 squares and 16 pieces.

64 Squares! & 16 Pieces!

 Let’s get our imagination into play.

  1. Say, you’re a king of an empire and are about to go on a war against your enemy.

  2. You arrange your troops and prepare to defend your kingdom.

  1. An important thing every leader must realize is the strength of his resources and the best way to get the most out of them.

  2. Prematurely launching an attack with just a few forces will certainly backfire.

  3. Timely strikes and precise positioning of the soldiers and the forces is what determines who would hold the upper hand as things unravel.

  1. Understanding and spotting a weak link in the opposition camp, devising ways to capitalise on them, moving troops towards these weaknesses to attack them; there’s a strategy involved.

  2. Having a sense of what’s happening and understanding every nuance of the enemy approach is highly critical.

  3. There is no end to what the possibilities are.

  4. Every army has warriors who possess special skills and hence, it is only wise to be vigilant and expect the unexpected.

  5. You may be in a position of command, but suddenly, might find yourself at the receiving end of an out-of-the-blues assault, for all it takes is a moment of haste and neglect.

  6. At the end of it all, the side that manages to outlast the other, or breakthrough the defences is the one that claims the battle.

Always Protect Your KING!

Pic Credit: ChessKid

Now, what has this got to do with chess?

The chess players will relate in a jiffy.

As famously quoted by the great Robert Fischer,

“Chess is war over the board, and the only object is to crush the opponent’s mind.”

Robert Fischer! as we mostly know him by his nick name - Bobby Fischer!

Robert Fischer! as we mostly know him by his nick name - Bobby Fischer!

Well, chess is a reflection of the above description. It showcases how life imitates chess.

  1. You are the same king who is set out to fight with the troops.

  2. You make the decisions and dictate the terms.

  3. You play the battlefield and you strategize.

More than just knocking over a few pieces and sitting across the 64 squares, you live a virtual battle, see it through your own eyes and experience the relentless pressure from your opposition.

Patiently looking for the corridor of opportunity, you wait for the moment to unleash your threats. It’s psychological warfare, immaculate anticipation and above all, a quest for triumph.

It’s an opportunity that we, as chess players, present to ourselves in getting better at conceptualising plans, executing them and outplaying the person sitting across us. The more ‘wars’ we fight, the better we get, the only difference being, we combat a new war every time we make our first move.

  1. You see, it’s about challenging your own self to find new solutions and devise improved strategies. And when the battle is against our own, there’s always added motivation to get better.

  2. You win, you lose, but all that it does is make you wiser, for wisdom is discovered over time and not merely attained by learning.

Chess is also a great leveller.

There is a reward for a contest that is fiercely contested and fought equally hard by both sides; the game ends in a draw.

This again, may come about in a case where you save half a point from a relatively weaker position, or also lose half a point from a superior position implying that it’s never over until it’s actually over.

  1. You have to be persistent, and at no point be relaxed while playing a game of chess.

As it is quite popularly said –

it doesn’t matter if you go wrong at some point, the one who makes the last mistake, is the one who pays the price.

Pic Credit: Pinterest

The emotional high that a chess player feels after playing a clean game of chess is simply unparalleled.

To realise that you were in no trouble whatsoever, upon analysing the game is just a massive boost of confidence.

  1. Having said that, it does get gloomy when things don’t go your way.

  2. A dark cloud of self-doubt just looms over and you just feel the whole world falling apart around you.

  3. These highs and lows are a constant and over time, you learn to deal with it.

The experiences teach us to live in the present because no matter what,

there will always be new tides flowing towards us and,

all we should do is try and sail through!

Indeed, chess is much more than just the 64 squares and the 16 pieces.

It’s an evolving experience that teaches something every single time.

It’s a reflection of life.

I hope you all liked our Article!

Stay tuned for more such articles!

Thank You!

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