Lessons My Father Taught Me Through Chess
Chess is a game played by two players with chess pieces on a chessboard. A chessboard is a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. Each player has 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks/rookies, two knights, two bishops and eight pawns.
Each of these piece types moves differently. The aim of the game is to ‘checkmate’ the opponent’s king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. The game can be won by voluntary resignation or may also result in a draw in several ways.
My father happens to be a major influence in many aspects of my life. Part of which includes my love for books, photography, classic music, some parts of psychology and chess. He loves chess a lot, compared to every other strategy games we play like monopoly.
Growing up as a child, I didn’t exactly understand chess but he’d explain over and over again, bending the rules a little so I could understand and beat him. ‘Oyin, think of chess as real life.’ He’d say. Apply the rules and lessons you learn to life. I would look at him and wonder how those tiny pieces could compare to real life.
Now that I have had a bit of experience of the real life, I can say I understand the benefit of all those hours of chess game and I appreciate them. Lessons which he taught me include:
1. Patience. A player that is not patient can not play chess properly. Chess require patience and focusing. Just like real life requires patience. A lot of people don’t take time to develop and discover themselves, rushing into situations before they are ready. Patience is a virtue. Focus and be positive!
2. Expect the unexpected. You could think you already have the pieces and possible moves of your opponent analysed but then an unexpected move could happen. Just as in the real life, things you don’t expect happen even when you think all is fine and under control.
You could have a chance to correct the situation of the unexpected move in a chess game, same way there are chances of correcting mistakes and the unexpected in real life.
3. Think, don’t overlook situations and make backup plans. I’ve played games before in which the last minute move to checkmate the king foils because I overlooked the opponent and the pieces. Don’t overlook your opponent or situations.
If plan A fails, make backup plans up to plan Z. Keep your moves coded and let the outcome make the noise. Let your end game and outcome impress those watching. There are spectators watching our lives and waiting to see what it’d turn out as.
4. The queen is the strongest on the chess board. My father would say:
‘I have raised you with proper upbringing. See yourself as a queen and stand tall. Never lower your standards for anyone who is not worth it or for momentary pleasure.’
Always think about the consequence of your decisions and never soil your good name for it is better than a lot money can afford. A queen helps every other piece on her side on the board, including the king. In life, be so good that people come to seek your advice and help.
5. Every piece on the board has a role to play. In real life, when working in a team, put in your best. The team’s victory is your victory. Just as in a family. The family’s success is your success too. Strive towards making the team/family better.
Thank you dad for all these lessons.
More lessons learnt from my father might be coming up on the blog. Thanks for reading ❤