Learning The Game of Chess
I learned how to play the game of chess when I was young. Since then, I have always enjoyed playing a good game of chess. Yet, I never became a really good chess player. I know the basic moves of the chess pieces, and a few elements of chess game strategy. However, I never forced myself to become a diligent student of the game.
Becoming a great chess player requires dedicated study of chess strategy. It requires knowledge of how to best utilize your chess pieces in order to gain an advantage over your opponent. There are many board games such as Monopoly, Sorry, and Parcheesi, as well as many other “roll the dice” board games. With those games, luck plays a big part in whether you win or lose.
In contrast, consistent winning in the game of chess is almost entirely dependent upon skillful use of the chess pieces, and strategy and wisdom in the moves that are made is what leads to winning. In the game of chess, luck is rarely if ever a factor.
The Game of Chess Can Teach Us About Life
Many people assume learning chess is difficult. Learning how to play the game of chess isn‘t complicated or difficult. Becoming a good player is where the difficultly exists. Winning requires a study of the game. Depending on luck won’t work.. Luck is almost never a factor in chess.
Life is much like the game of chess. To succeed and win in the game of life, you can’t depend on luck. Success in life requires determination to learn the necessary skills and strategies to live a successful life. Most of the skills and strategies involve how we deal and interact with others. The attitudes we embrace regarding the challenges we face, and how we use what God has given us is vitally important. In essence, it is wisdom that makes us successful in life, not luck.
Mediocrity When it Comes to Chess
I never made a serious effort to be a dedicated student of the game of chess. I know how to play and I enjoy playing very much. Do I consider myself a very skillful player? My answer would be no.
Think of the chess board as representing life. I’ve learned the basics of the game of chess. Yet, I’ve never done what is necessary to become a top notch player. Many people approach life the same way I have approached the game of chess. Everyone knows the game of life; we play it every day. Unfortunately, many never learn the vital strategies and tactics of dealing with others and the world around us that are needed.
We all Start with The Same “Pieces”
Much like the game of chess, a successful life is not dependent on luck. It is dependent on knowledge of how to make best use of our God given “chess pieces.”
In the game of chess, both players start with the same number and types of pieces. Consequently, both players have the same tools to secure victory in the game. A player’s chess pieces can be compared to faith and talents their life. How wisely and skillfully a person uses their God given “chess pieces” is crucial! It makes the difference between victory and defeat in life. Whether you know it or not, EVERY person has strengths, EVERY person has abilities, and yes….EVERY person has faith.
In the Bible in Romans 12:3, we are told that God gives to every man the measure of faith! If you read that scripture, you will notice it is worded “THE measure of faith.” God gives every man the same measure or ability to believe in him. How we use that measure, or that “chess piece” if you will… is up to us.
A Great Chess Player Carefully Plans All Moves
Great chess players take time between the moves of their pieces. A skilled chess player doesn’t make any moves suddenly that lack planning and forethought. Tournament chess games have time limits on moves to help maintain the flow of the game. But in basic, friendly, everyday chess matches, moves can take a long time. Players very carefully analyze their situation, and their possible choices of moves. Every move is calculated and the possible side effects of that move are considered.
In the game of life, too often people make decisions about the use of their chess pieces hastily. They don’t take the time to consider the consequences their moves may bring about. Every decision we ever make about how we utilize our life’s “chess pieces” matter! Our moves will either bring about a good result, or it will bring about a negative result. Our success is affected by the amount of thought we put into those moves. Just as in chess, one bad move can negatively alter the entire outcome of our game. (life)
Sometimes Sacrifices are Required
Lastly, in the game of chess, a player quickly learns occasionally sacrifices are necessary. Some of the pieces of less importance have to be let go of in order to achieve victory. The lesser pieces make their contributions toward the victory during the game. However, in the end it is the most important pieces that capture the victory.
In life, we have to make sacrifices, and decide what areas of our lives are of least importance. Often we have to sacrifice some things in order to win the game, Sometimes in life, the thing standing in the way of our victory is the piece of our life that we need to eliminate from our game.
Quite often, in the game of chess, at the end of the game there are very few pieces left on the board. All the unnecessary pieces have been sacrificed. All that remains is what is needed to achieve victory. Sometimes we need to strip away all the unnecessary pieces of our life, and only keep those pieces vital to winning. In the Bible we are told to …”lay aside every sin and the weight that so easily besets us, and run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1)
If you were to ask me what those vital pieces are, I would tell you they are a desire to help others, and a firm trust in God. As long as you have those pieces near the end of your game, you will be a winner in the game of life.
Take some time and learn the game of chess! It’s really a great game!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,