Life in a chessboard

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


Let us make one point…that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile…Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.” – Mother Teresa

Here I am, just plodding through life amidst chaotic experiences and painful decisions. Nevertheless, I’m still blessed with constant joys coming from my family, friends, co-bloggers and readers who unceasingly never fail  to send me messages of support and love.

My long absence in the blogosphere, family and social circle caused anxiety among those who nurtured affection for me. To everyone, I appreciate each loving gestures you give me, they bring kisses of smile to my soul. They brighten up my day and I’m grateful.

My apology for SASHA for a long overdue thankful recognition of her award given to me last July!!!

Let me quote her words from her generous heart :

For those bloggers who inspire others through their words and actions. With a positive attitude, and an uplifting spirit these bloggers make the blogosphere a better place, and encourage others to do the same. This award is for bloggers who rise up to set an example but continue to reach out and support others.

Your award gives me a reason to smile!  Speaking of smile, I received an award from RINO  just in time before my birthday! Thank you so much Rino!This post is my overflowing gratitude for my co-bloggers and readers who acknowledge my blog as worthy of their time to stop by in spite of my long absence. I’m passing this award to everyone!

To top of it, a sponsor is willing to pay me a good sum of money by placing his ad here! Oh wow and wow…smile after smile keeps on flowing swiftly over rocks like fresh water.

Let us all meet with a smile, even when it is difficult to smile…” We just don’t know how much  joy we are giving with our smile!

To all of you, you are not aware how much pleasure you are giving me during my sunsets, you are saving my day!

 God bless!



Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” – P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr

A smile confuses an approaching frown. – Author Unknown

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” – Denis Waitley

If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no checkbook.” – Les Giblin

Don’t cry because it’s over…Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Suess

People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile. – Lee Mildon

Every tear has a smile behind it.” – Iranian Proverb

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. –Phyllis Diller

Smile. Have you ever noticed how easily puppies make human friends? Yet all they do is wag their tails and fall over.” –Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. – Author Unknown

Start every day with a smile and get it over with.” – W.C. Fields

Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available.” –Jim Beggs

A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.” –Charles Gordy

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” –Mark Twain, Following the Equator

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief. – William Shakespeare, Othello

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.” – Author Unknown

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” – Andy Rooney

Always remember to be happy because you never know who’s falling in love with your smile. ” – Author Unknown

Everyone smiles in the same language.” -Author Unknown

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.” – George Eliot

She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.” – Raymond Chandler

Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.
– Author Unknown

A smile appeared upon her face as if she’d taken it directly from her handbag and pinned it there.” – Loma Chandler

A laugh is a smile that bursts. – Mary H. Waldrip

Smile – sunshine is good for your teeth. – Author Unknown

The shortest distance between two people is a smile. – Author Unknown

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” –Mother Teresa

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. – Washington Irving

Beauty is power; a smile is its sword. – Charles Reade

A smile is the universal welcome. – Max Eastman

Keep smiling – it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to. – Author Unknown

You’re never fully dressed without a smile. – Martin Charnin

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. – Janet Lane

All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile. – Chris Hart

If you would like to spoil the day for a grouch, give him a smile. – Author Unknown

Smile – it increases your face value. – Author Unknown

Peace begins with a smile. – Mother Teresa

A smile is a powerful weapon; you can even break ice with it. – Author Unknown

Most smiles are started by another smile. – Author Unknown

A smile is something you can’t give away; it always comes back to you. – Author Unknown

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. – Author Unknown

It takes a lot of work from the face to let out a smile, but just think what good smiling can bring to the most important muscle of the body… the heart. – Author Unknown