The game of chess and what it means to me

I have grown up with the game of chess and it has influenced a major part of my psyche. This blog is going to see more of chess from me as I intend to dive deeper into this game. This post is the framework of the way I see chess. It will expand as my understanding grows. This will be the backbone of all my ideas related to chess and life.

1.) The Design

As a designer, I have to first appreciate the beautiful architecture of this game. It was the design of the game which first attracted me as a child. I first saw this game on a plinth of a temple. The board was there and my brother and sisters opened a box where these curious objects in black and white were placed. They arranged them in a linear manner and started moving turn by turn. It was fascinating to watch that movement.

There is a perfect harmony in the way the game is designed. I have played all these years and I can’t imagine adding or removing anything to it. These are the important components of design in chess.

  • Geometry – Squares within a square
  • Duality – The forces of dark and light in balance
  • Harmony – The harmony of pieces with each other creates the beauty in the game
  • Hierarchy– Various different movements from pawn to king are in their rightful place and numbers
  • Structure and space– The structure made of pawns, pieces guarding and occupying spaces within and around.
  • Order and chaos – The game begins with perfect order but as it expands, just like the universe it moves towards chaos. Even within that expansion, we see beautiful patterns of harmony and geometry.
  • Attempt to capture infinity in the finite– The number of possible moves in chess are beyond imagination. Such seemingly endless possibility is an attempt to capture infinity in a game.

With all such qualities, this game can be seen as a miniature version of the universe.

2.) The exercise of a whole brain

With such a versatile design follows naturally the most practical aspects which help exercise the whole of human brain. It includes almost every exercise for development of a sharp intellect.

  • Battle of logic, strategy and planning
  • Calculation and analysis
  • Inference,deduction,judgement and Assessment
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Persistence, a will to win and fighting spirit
  • Control over nerves and emotions
  • The importance of time

All these skills must be trained to perform well at chess(and life)

3.) Reflection of my thought process

I play differently than I played 3 years ago. This difference in my thought process is seen clearly when I analyze my games. It tells me the way I make decisions. It tells me the proportion of intuition and conscious choice I use in life. My decisions on board are the same quality as those in my everyday life.

When I analyze my games, I am also analyzing the way I think and how I can make it better.

4.) Reflection of my strengths and weaknesses

Sometimes I play blitz chess on internet. When I lose two or three games in a row, I play more to win and feel better. I don’t win obviously because I am not playing rationally but rather emotionally. This is a ‘gambling mindset’ which I become aware of when I play chess. It is a weakness that I become aware of and I take steps to overcome it.

On the other hand, I remember times when I played a single game for 3 to 4 hours and day turned into night without me noticing it. It helps me see my strength of concentration.

There are many such behaviours which I also become aware of in other areas of life.

5.) Chess as Devotion

The design is so powerful that it embodies complex ideas of creation into it. A certain part of god is hidden in this game in form of creation. To find that god is the work of devotion that chess has to offer. The four aspects mentioned above are the points through which I search this god.

Conclusion

The foundations are set. I don’t know what comes next, but I know I will figure it out. After All that is how I work. I take the first step and the next one appears….

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