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5 life lessons I learned while playing chess

I play chess, every day, it is a hobby since college days, I love the game and its need to think and the way it requires you to think.

I am not a master I play and lose a lot, but it is hard to lose, and after over 14 years of playing chess, I learned few valuable lessons. In this article, I will share them and show you them in action.

Lesson 1: You need to be careful when you are close to Win.

I can not tell you how many games I played where people snapped and made uncommonly silly mistakes when they were about to win, including me. The following game is a perfect example of that:


I was winning, obviously the game was about to end, what was the logical move, any move other than moving the queen to C8, that was my move, and I lost the queen for no apparent reason other than I thought it ended.

In life, it is the same, when you are close to win, either it is exam, job, deal or anything, you need to make sure you will close it, do not snap at the last mile, keep the same performance and attitude to make sure you will WIN and end up WINNING BIG.

Lesson2: Don’t give up; no matter how f**ked you are:

I can not tell how many games I played and when I kill the queen people give up and resign, toooo many games.

I found that people give up early and easily, and a lot of them snap (check lesson #1), my 2 cents in chess and life don’t give up, no matter how deep in shit you are in, think strategically and move tactically, the queen is not your strongest piece on the chess board; your brain is the strongest piece on the board and in life, use it.

Check this game:


I played this game against a extremely experienced player I took care and played the king gambit which should guarantee a exceptionally strong dynamic during the game as I was playing with white, but guess what, he set me up, and I lost the queen, and I couldn’t castle, I thought about giving up, but I didn’t, moved correctly and ended up advancing with 2 pieces.

So, chess and life are about your choices and moves, decide carefully.

Lesson3: Easy wins are not always easy

In chess, players target the rook as a highly valuable piece, it is the most valuable after the queen (of course skipping the king).

In a lot of games, you might see an easy target, but you need to be careful of what is the current situation, you need to think what others will do and don’t buy into a simple target because others might hit back hard.

check this game: http://goo.gl/n1nRGj

I was attacking the king side, obviously the other played didn’t think carefully about his current position, and bought the idea of forking the queen and rook, he ended up with a sad situation and position.

Also in life, don’t buy easy wins and target, they are lovely and sometimes you have/must use them, but you have to think ahead; what is behind them and will they benefit me?!

Lesson4: No matter how careful you are, sometimes you f*ck up:

I play careful and systematic games against experiences players, wither I play with white or black; I use a exceedingly systematic approach to avoid any surprises.

But no matter how careful I am, or you are or will, sometimes we do stupid stuff. We will always do stupid and foolish stuff, it is part of life.

check the following game:


again, king gambit, everything is progressing as should be, but in the seventh move I did what, I took the pawn with the bishop, what the hell I was thinking, I don’t know.

I had experienced player against me, I lost a valuable piece, and the game still in the beginning, it is a tough situation, but I decided to recover and come back.

as you can see, I pushed with some tactical moves to prevent the queen from castling, and strategically to attack with the Rook and queen.

I ended up with a check mate. that was impressive and valuable lesson to me. In life, sometimes you do stupid things, disastrous to the point you might think I can’t come back from this.

But when you face these situations, it is time to apologize to others or to yourself, put a plan, gather yourself and recover, you can always do that, no matter how hard the situation you are in.

Lesson5: Chess about the bottom line, so is life:

Chess about mating the king, it is not about taking the queen or having more pawns, it is about someone who wins at the end, simple as that.

A lot of people forget this rule; I can’t tell how many time people ran after a hanging pawn or a piece and had to pay the price for it.

check this game: http://goo.gl/xWt4Kb

the guy went after the hanging pawn; I lined up the 2 rooks and the queen, setup the attack and launched it. he paid the price.

same in life, it doesn’t matter how many presentation you have done in your job, how many hour you worked; if you don’t have results, it is useless.

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