Monday, December 17, 2007

Why Play Chess?

The game of chess is one of the most popular games around the world. I’m not going to talk about the history of where the game begins (which is quite useless, because no one really knows for sure). I’m not going to talk about the boring stuffs like the rules and how to play this magnificent game either. You can check it out at wikipedia or any other sites later on.

Instead, what I’m trying to stress on this post is that we can learn a lot of things and gain a lot of advantage by playing chess.

1. Chess enhanced problem solving and abstract reasoning.
The main problem that the players should bear in mind is “How can I make it a checkmate?”. Therefore they will work their way throughout the game. In their effort to do this, they are calculating probabilities in each step. This is one of the reasons why some people associate this game to mathematics.

2. Chess trained us to stay focus
Based on my personal experience, you won’t win unless you are completely focusing on the game. Living in this new world with television and many other interactive electronic applications can cause lack of concentration. This may affect students and workers in their performance in their field. Therefore chess is a good start to fix this problem.

3. Chess trained us to work under pressure
Every player has their own personality. Some will act like some sort of bully—usually they are really good at chess and find excitement in their own way when facing players who are not at the same level. Facing these kind of opponent which will attack our king in every single step, or trick us to take away their valuable pieces but in turn, we’ll lose our queen, is very depressing. Besides this, there are many other factors that can cause pressure, for example, playing in tournaments.

4. Chess opens up the world for the players
Players can join any open tournament no matter whether they are beginners, intermediate or even the grand masters. There is no limit. You’ll meet a lot of players from different backgrounds—some attended international school of chess, some received training from professional player, and some are just ordinary people with extraordinary interest.

5. Chess doesn’t cost that much
Even if you can’t afford chess board, or not willing to purchase the game, you can always play it online, for FREE!!!!

6. Chess teaches us to take risks
Sometimes we need to take risks whatever it takes in order to save our king and to meet victory. After all, this is life all about, right?

Well, there are many other reasons why you should enjoy chess as much as I do. If you think that chess is only for smart people, well, guess it again. You are totally wrong! You don’t have to be smart. All you need is to learn the basic principles of how to move the pieces and the remainder will just come naturally. However, you need to be smart if you want to be good in the game. Of course you have to, it is like you have to be as good as a manager—who decides which piece should be sacrificed, and as good as an artist—because the steps and strategies are a form of art. Lessons from your own experience will somehow help you, so no need to worry.

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