Chess world

More than a game, more than a sport. Chess might hold the answer to many of our problems
Date May 2, 2015 – 9:00PM

Peter Martin
Economics Editor, The Age

My most important lessons, I’ve learned from chess.

I have learned not to get distracted by keeping the score. The only thing that really matters is whether you’re working toward your long-term goal.

It would get Australia recognised around the world for doing something other than hitting or kicking balls.

In chess the two aren’t the same. While it’s possible to count who has the most points as you go, it doesn’t you win the game. If you are greedy, you’re likely to lose.

And I have learned that the least impressive pieces can be the most important. Every piece has a part to play, even those that appear to be doing nothing other than covering a square. In chess, as in life, no matter how unimpressive the task, if it is done well the entire enterprise benefits.

And I’ve learned to be nice when I lose and generous when I win. The last moves in a game of chess are necessarily cruel: it’s a game of hunting and being hunted. But it usually isn’t personal. Everyone takes turns at losing.

As well as other things. While it’s necessary to think through problems as much as you can, it’s not enough. You also need to recognise patterns. “What happened last time I was in a position like this?” “What’s my subconscious visual memory telling me?” It’s important to tap into your inner self. It is better at finding solutions than is brute force.

Had I never played chess it is possible that I would have picked up these lessons from somewhere else, but I doubt it. Not all of them, not in the same place.

Chess teaches lessons about life because it has evolved and been refined throughout the last 15 centuries of human life. It has become uncommonly good at teaching us who we should be.

Full article here.

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