As a pre-teen girl (before I was too cool for these sorts of things), I suffered through many a chess match with my father. We toiled for what seemed like hours after dinner over the wooden board, and the most exasperating part was the realization that he knew my every move before me. There was nothing like that pregnant pause when I made (or started to make) a move, and he would say “Are you sure?”
Well, drat. No, I wasn’t – I was rash and going for the win, of course.
Years later, I realized that (as intended) I learned more than just the basics of chess during those sessions. And so recently, I was elated to encounter my husband and oldest daughter crouched over a chess set during a lazy holiday morning at my parents’ house. The visual was priceless for me, another snapshot in the sands of time of a father and daughter captured in an age-old struggle. For once, I managed to keep quiet and still as the battle waged nearby. I coddled my coffee and thought about the life lessons unfolding between them before my eyes:
Consider everything around you before making a move, even if you are certain it’s best.
Look around carefully at your surroundings and what else may be affected by your decision.
Your move and reaction are dependent upon others. Everything, of course, has an equal and opposite reaction.
There is a tendency for new players to run when backed into a corner – practice resilience. All is not lost following a misstep. Recover and move forward.
In chess – and in life – thinking and pondering are essential. Take your time.
Use all the pieces – all the tools at your disposal, every weapon in your arsenal.
And above all? Make the bold move.