Reflections on life. Collections of inspirational quotes. Rediscovering relationships and faith.
Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” – Ralph Charell”
“It’s your turn to move Ross.” I overheard my father’s long forgotten words amidst the bustling traffic of Manila. Same usual reminder when we were playing chess before his death. Can he still sense my indecisiveness, my predicament on my life now?
I glanced through the newspapers across the side-streets and saw an article about Bobby Fisher’s death which made me remember, today is my father’s death anniversary. How did it slip my mind?
I remember Bobby Fisher as a chess genius who lived in the Philippines for two years and once said
Chess is life“.
Is it?? I believe so. I feel to be receiving an oracle today among the many tangible signs the “unknown” is sending me. The keyword is “chess!”
My first chess set was a gift from my father at the age of 8 and from then on, it begun to be my solace and pride to test how I think. It was one good excuse to be with my father even if he “slaughtered” me in each game, uhmm not all, I think . Chess became my way of showing every male opponent the wonders of a female mind through this intricate game, contradicting Gary Kasparov when he said:
Women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players: they are not great fighters.”
Each defeat turned out to be a good motivation for me to learn more and be challenged . Each victory turned out for me a chance to be humble and to reflect more than this game could offer me.
This is my reflection: Our life is like a game of chess!
Both life and chess have basic rules or principles
It is not enough to just learn the rules but HOW and WHY I play those rules. To live my life well, I should not only eat, sleep and have a good job. These are not enough to make my way of living successful.
Both life and chess ask me to THINK before I act.
Losing a queen for precipitous distraction or paying less time to think is one reason to have cold sweats during the game. Same thing with life, if I pay less attention to what I say to an annoying person or to any choice I make everyday without enough thought, I have to pay for its painful outcome.
Both life and chess ask me to ponder on possibilities and outcomes.
In chess, it is useful to think about techniques like: the fork, the pin,or the skewer and guess what are the possibilities or outcome after a move. Same thing with life. It make me see my relationship with the world. Do I let my head or my heart guide me? Am I prudent or fearless to be able to reach my goal without giving up?
Both life and chess ask me to have a goal in mind.
In chess, it is not collecting my opponents pieces, not safeguarding my pieces or promoting a pawn but achieving a checkmate!
In life, it is difficult to keep my important aims clearly in mind. The world seems to plot to take me off course, to make me forget about what I really want to do, and to cloud my attention with too many obstacles or distractions. If I can keep my mind be more concentrated on my goal, I will attain attain it in my lifetime.
I should avoid the temptation of “being busy” with work that seem to be productive, but is contrary to what I really want to achieve.
I’ve learned this lesson on the chessboard repeatedly. I can justify my moves all I want, but I will be cornered and checkmated if I don’t checkmate my opponent first.
Both life and chess ask me to be humble.
In chess, I should not make that fatal error of under-estimating my opponent. My years of experience are not enough to count for a victory.
Same thing with life, I should not judge the person in front of me as less better than my self .
I also see my chessboard of life as a game against an Invisible opponent, some-One more powerful over my life whom I can trust my erratic moves and distractions, some-One whom I can be like a little child who constantly holds my two hands giving me Faith and Love.
These are my powerful weapons/techniques to conquer this game of life, so cunningly complex, yet , my movement is centered, flowing and letting go.
Without doubt, it is my turn to move. I am the the chess player not the chess piece. I have myself as my sole opponent in this chess of life. I am the sole barrier to my success if I won’t do anything.
Dad, wherever you are, thank you for the gift of patience and perseverance you imparted me through this artful and creative game.
Indeed, chess is a reflection of life creatively intertwined.
Human affairs are like a chess-game: only those who do not take it seriously can be called good players. Life is like an earthen pot: only when it is shattered, does it manifest its emptiness.” – Seneca
The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem… I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” –Marcel Duchamp
Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead, vigilance…by having to keep watch over the whole chessboard…caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves…and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life, that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hope for a change for the better, and steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.” – Benjamin Franklin, “The morals of chess”, 1779
One cannot play chess if one becomes aware of the pieces as living souls and of the fact that the Whites and the Blacks have more in common with each other than with the players. Suddenly one loses all interest in who will be champion.” – Anatol Rapoport
In life, as in Chess, one’s own Pawns block one’s way. A man’s very wealth, ease, leisure, children, books, which should help him to win, more often checkmate him” – Charles Buxton
You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.” – Stanley Kubrick
Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer” –Albert Einstein
Here and there in the ancient literature we encounter legends of wise and mysterious games that were conceived and played by scholars, monks, or the courtiers of cultured princes. These might take the form of chess games in which the pieces and squares had secret meanings in addition to their usual functions.” – Herman Hesse
The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us.” –Thomas Henry Huxley
Life is a kind of Chess, with struggle, competition, good and ill events” –Benjamin Franklin
The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake” –Savielly Tartakover
Life is like a game of Chess, changing with each move” – Chinese proverb
Openings teach you openings. Endgames teach you chess!” – Stephan Gerzadowicz
When the Chess game is over, the Pawn and the King go back to the same box” – Irish saying
A Chess game is a dialogue, a conversation between a player and his opponent. Each move by the opponent may contain threats or be a blunder, but a player cannot defend against threats or take advantage of blunders if he does not first ask himself: What is my opponent planning after each move?” – Bruce A. Moon
A Chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third… when you know you’re going to lose!” – Savielly Tartakower
Chess is thirty to forty percent psychology. You don’t have this when you play a computer. I can’t confuse it” –Judith Polgar
Human affairs are like a Chess game: only those who do not take it seriously can be called good players” – Hung Tzu Ch’eng
Chess is the gymnasium of the mind” – Blaise Pascal
Chess teaches you to control the initial excitement you feel when you see something that looks good and it trains you to think objectively when you’re in trouble” –Stanley Kubrick
I feel as if I were a piece in a game of Chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved” – Soren Kierkegaard
When asked, -How is that you pick better moves than your opponents?, I responded: I’m very glad you asked me that, because, as it happens, there is a very simple answer. I think up my own moves, and I make my opponent think up his”
– Alexander Alekhine
The tactician must know what to do whenever something needs doing; the strategist must know what to do when nothing needs doing” – Savielly Tartakover
In Chess, just as in life, today’s bliss may be tomorrow’s poison” – Assaic
Chess is a terrific way for kids to build self image and self esteem” – Saudin Robovic