As anyone knows who has played me chess with me, I have one strategy, split into two parts.
- Get both Queens off the board as soon as possible.
- Eliminate at least half the pieces on each side as soon as possible.
For me, the only way for me to find a way through the game is to clear some space.
It’s not a bad analogy for life (at least the way I play chess: I know grandmasters will disagree). Chess is complicated with thousands of different combinations of movement of pieces available for each game. So it is in life. In chess some moves may be inconsequential, whilst others are key. So it is in life. In chess some of the key moves involve a lowly pawn and the “neither here nor there” move uses a high piece. So it is in life. Sometimes choices are to be made where it really doesn’t matter and other times it is and it is not always the big decisions that have the most significance in our lives. Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made. So it is in life.
There are fundamental differences between life and a chess board (just in case you haven’t noticed!). We do not have to move in a prescribed fashion, nor is the function of our life to obliterate the other side (whatever the other side is), nor is our world black and white. However, what many of us share is the desire to achieve a goal.
Some of our local schools are running chess competitions and I know a few of the kids taking part. Listening to them exchanging strategies and de-constructing games played to see how they can improve is fascinating.
What is your strategy to reach your goal? Have you actually thought about it or just jumped in with both feet? Which decisions really matter and which can you relax about?
Personally, I probably need to de-clutter; metaphorically and literally, just as I do when I play chess. Being in a room that is full of unfinished paperwork, half-drunk cups of tea and general-untidiness, is not good for me. Perhaps I need to pay attention to my chess strategy and create some space so that I can see what I have, what I haven’t and where I need to go next.
The only problem in writing this blog is that I have now given away my one and only strategy for chess! Game anyone?