June 24, 2024

Chess?

So what does this all have to do with the game of chess? Like Thomas Huxley, I have also come to see the world, the universe, the laws of nature, and how we choose to live our lives – from a chess game perspective. I believe that we all could and would make better moves (decisions for our lives) if we were all more aware of the options/ strategies/ resources, etc. – available to us and the consequences of our choices prior to making our decisions. My wife taught me how to play chess a few years ago (in my late 40’s). Growing up, I always considered Chess variants app for “nerds,” or for those “book worms” that were not very good at sports. I also (secretly) thought that those who played chess were just more intelligent then me, and maybe I just wasn’t smart enough to learn the game. After being beaten numerous times by my wife, I found a computer chess game and began playing daily during my lunch breaks. Since this programmed chess game had different levels of difficulty, I could choose to play the seven year olds – and began to win a few games. These successes helped me to start winning some games with my wife.

Subsequently, I started playing against an on-line chess program. The difference was that there were no difficulty levels to choose from and I was forced to play the chess master every game. Needless to say, my success rates at winning dropped dramatically. In fact, I was losing 4 – 5 times a day, and this continued for over a year. I didn’t give up trying to win, however, because the program itself stated, “Don’t get discouraged if you lose! Remember, we don’t race against motorcycles, and in the weight lifting events, we don’t compete against forklifts! After a few months of solid losing, I had lost all hope of ever winning. It was during this depressing period that I began to think about how this game of chess related to the “game of life,” and I began to see chess from a seven dimensional perspective that would eventually develop into a maintenance plan for my life and a formula for progress in my chess game.

7 – Dimensions of Life

1. Social / Cultural Dimension – I started seeing that your chess pieces are like family members and significant others in your life that you try to protect the best you can. We are all alike (black or white in chess) and we try to move and communicate in ways that will support our mutual goals. Unfortunately though, you end up losing the ones you love.

2. Medical/ Physical Dimension – In order to maintain a healthy body we must maintain a balance of moving (exercise), eating (our opponents pieces), and resting (knowing when not to move).

3. Mental/ Emotional Dimension – Chess forces us to think really hard about our actions, the consequences of our actions, and how our behavior affects others and the world around us. It also gives us opportunities to experience and deal with emotions – like anger, revenge, grief, and joy, etc.

4. Educational/ Occupational Dimension – Chess develops our attention span, concentration abilities, and memory – so that we can learn, be trained and skilled, and maintain satisfying work experiences.

5. Spiritual/ Religious Dimension – I didn’t notice a spiritual side to chess until one of my pawns first got transformed (born-again) into a Queen. At that point, I realized that our weakest members in life have the potential to become our strongest heroes. Chess also develops our faith in a set of organized beliefs and practices much like religion.

6. Legal/ Financial Dimension – Chess teaches us that there are consequences for not obeying the law (not playing by the rules of the game). There are also rewards for logically and systematically making the right moves in life.

7. Self-Control/ Higher Power Control Dimension- Chess teaches us that even though we may follow all the rules, all of the time – we do not have total control of our destiny (who wins the game and who loses). As Thomas Huxley so eloquently put it in his famous quote above (“the player on the other side is hidden).

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *