Off-topic #1- Life & Chess

Yesterday I was running for dear life to get to the bathroom on time. Poetic, I know. As I worked on the belt, I was horrified to discover there was nothing to read. You know how crucial that is, so don’t play the fool and bear with me. I did have the deodorant and shampoo labels, but I know the components by heart: Glycol distearate, Sodium Laureth sulfate, Coco betain , and so forth…

I ran back out and picked a random book from the shelf and this one showed up. Kasparov made clear his book was not meant for chess players alone. You didn’t even need to know the rules to make the best out of it. Anyone should be able to read it and gasp at the amazing coincidences of this puzzling game and our everyday life. Did i happen to me? No. I enjoyed the book, but it appeared to me the proper title should have been: How Kasparov’s life imitates Kasparov’s chess. Hard to relate to.

I do like Chess. I love it. I’ve played it for years and, while I can’t compare to Garry on the board, I will try to make a better job at listing some of the endless points where life and Chess touch. It should look like this:

Ok, that didn’t work out too well. Let’s break it down into themes and put it in down-to-earth words:

Decisions

  • If you constantly act without thinking, you are screwed. Think before you move! You know you have this issue when you often tell yourself “I shouldn’t have said that.”
  • If you get the habit of waiting for perfect information before moving, you are also screwed. Don’t overthink! You know you have this issue when you often tell yourself “Why the hell didn’t I tell her/him that?”
  • If you’ve struggled a lot to make a choice, stick with it. If you were wrong, you will learn from it and get stronger. Changing your mind all the time will get you nowhere and teach you nothing.
  • Outsiders always seem to know better. They smirk and chuckle whenever you make a choice that is not what they would do in your position. Only they are not you, and more importantly, they are not playing the same game. Keep that in mind when taking and giving advice.
  • Sometimes you are presented with a chance that should be bad but feels right. Your brain tells you “don’t“, and your heart screams “Do it! ” Trust your guts! Better to be wrong than sorry.

Ego management

  • Until practice proves otherwise, to others you will be exactly as strong and powerful as you believe to be. If you can’t convince yourself you are worthy, forget about convincing others.
  • Idiots blame their mistakes on others, smart people learn from their own mistakes, and extraordinary people learn from other people’s mistakes. At least go over your failures. This way you will prevent smashing your head against the same wall over and over.. .like most people do.
  • Mediocre people like to keep their ego shiny by seeking company of those they deem weaker, uglier, or less talented. This way they look stronger, hotter and smarter when, in truth, they are just insecure, sorry-ass losers. Be better than that. If you want the ideal ego/growth ratio, keep company with those who are slightly better than you in the aspect you want to improve. Wanna be a badass? test yourself with those above you and earn your reputation.

Luck VS Hardwork

  • More often than not, luck doesn’t exist or is overrated. Don’t make a habit of blaming “bad luck” for your absolute 100% personal fuck-ups. Just as you shouldn’t asume every other person doing well is just “lucky.”
  • Luck can give you empty wins, but will never win you a tournament.
  • Successful people seem to be “lucky” all the time, when, in truth, they worked hard to develop the awareness to spot good chances on the fly and the nerve to act accordingly.

Tactics and Strategy

  • Keep an eye on tomorrow (strategy) and your hands on today (Tactics) and you’ll get somewhere. Do it the other way around, and you won’t.
  • Don’t give up on your strategy too soon. Many times, keeping it steady and getting your tactics right, is the way to go.
  • Balance yourself. Having no strategy will make you a puppet in other people’s play. However, having no tactics will make you a string less puppeteer, trapped in your imagination with nothing to show for.

Miscellaneous

I got way to serious. Let’s give solemnity a good kick between the legs. Other similarities in life and chess:

  • The King cannot mate alone, but he can with a Queen.
  • No matter how much pawns get pummeled by those ranked above them, the moment they taste power, they will turn against other pawns.
  • White has the advantage. Deal with it. (just to trigger ppl)
  • If someone takes your Queen, you lose A LOT of material.
  • If you see it in an action movie… there is a high chance it has nothing to do with the real thing.
  • When you have everything in your favor, to a point a two year old would solve it, that’s the perfect time to show the world you can still screw up big time.

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