Learning lessons in life from the game of chess - A Grandfather's Philosophy

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He taught me to stay in school, not only by just telling me to, he gave me sound advise for memorizing vocabulary, by reading just 2 new words every day from the dictionary, and mastering their definitions each and every day
He taught me to stay in school, not only by just telling me to, he gave me sound advise for memorizing vocabulary, by reading just 2 new words every day from the dictionary, and mastering their definitions each and every day

Granddad's mastery of chess

The person who has been the most influential in my life is someone who while playing a cool game of chess, decided to let me in on some truly wise thoughts and words of wisdom, and this cool guy was my grandfather, but my mom is definitely second runner up, and I will explain in great detail as to how these two folks have played such a significant role in me becoming who I am today.


Life is something I would like to define first off, in order to fully explain myself, and to answer this question thoroughly, because just stating that fact without providing the reason why would be like giving you any old bottle of wine to drink without letting you in on its history of authentic age, for we all know the secret to its true quality is such, and learning of such info is to satisfy a thirst for greater relevance. "Life is not only a struggle, or a pursuit of happiness, its also a firm balance between all things good and bad that enter your domain of reference." by Mike Pugh



She was very influential, but them chess moves my grandfather had taught me, was very tough to resist
She was very influential, but them chess moves my grandfather had taught me, was very tough to resist
Me on my High School Graduate mode, each move he taught me equated to a move in life I made years later, which had to be precise and accurately thought out to deliver a well balance productive end, rather then a negative outcome
Me on my High School Graduate mode, each move he taught me equated to a move in life I made years later, which had to be precise and accurately thought out to deliver a well balance productive end, rather then a negative outcome

How it all began

When I was about 8 or 9 years of age my grandfather was very determined to take me outside on a hot summer day, and break out his trusty chess board to teach me the real game of life. The ironic thing is he did just that, but I swore he was going to teach me how to play the game of chess rather, and I had no clue that such a huge rope was attached to such a moment. To use the word string, would have been putting it lightly to explain the actual hidden agenda that my grandfather had planned, and probably many light years ahead of me ever knowing about such an occasion, but either way I was ready for the learning session of my life.


Now after he had placed his cool chess board which was made of great oak wood, and had the chess boxes painted over it, you could even smell the aroma of the wood finish. I always wondered if he had painted them cool boxes himself, and knowing him he must have. This old man was not your ordinary old guy, he was tough, if you felt his hands it felt like leather gloves. Looking into my granddad's eyes, "yikes" they were always intense looking, and so you know how deep things were going to get, as soon as he broke out them chess pieces.


Each chess piece looked hand carved with the finest of etched artistically wood cut angular shapes, the size of them was very re-memorable. They were painted and garnished with some sort of wax or wood finish, anyhow it was awesome how it shined when the suns rays hit them. That first day he lovingly dragged me out there to his knowledge chambers, I had no clue what I was in for, and so he knew somehow this would leave a huge dent and impact on me. Since his equipment was so elegant, and just a classic work of art to say the least, my young mind had no chance at hiding, or escaping from his word play and delivery of his great message.



By malias
By malias | Source
10 years as a US Navy Sailor helped me fortify my position and surfaces in life as a whole, and thanks to my grand fathers philosophy I took heed to his lessons, and did the right thing finally, completing a successful career defending our country.
10 years as a US Navy Sailor helped me fortify my position and surfaces in life as a whole, and thanks to my grand fathers philosophy I took heed to his lessons, and did the right thing finally, completing a successful career defending our country.

Weird moves for some pieces

"Catty-corner straight" he called it, it was the very first move my grandfather had taught me, and it was the most significant. This particular chess move in itself holds the potential to be the game crusher, it has wiped out entire legions and armies of the greatest chess players on the globe. I was being taught not only one of the most important moves, but the reason why I see the world the way I do today. I'll put you on to that premise towards the end of this hub, but let me move on. I had learned how the Knight also known as the horse, with his clever agile swiftness sweeps across the board in a 3 box advance attack move or retreat and in any direction, I use to think of it as the "L move". Most people have issues learning this move, and its purpose but I knew somehow it was to become the best one to learn by far, so it came to me easily, as I made it my best move and most deadliest ever on the chess board, which helped me to become much more decisive in real life years later.


The very next piece he flagrantly flipped into view, would be the Queen. Now this key to the entire game was one hell of a fighter, she was set out to make the most evasive moves, yet she was the most vulnerable to being slaughtered, kid napped, and all the rest you could imagine, and especially if you didn't keep focused, alert, and your eyes on her, but boy was she a dangerously hot mommy. "The Queen is one sharp cookie", he said, "but, be careful because she tends to get way ahead of herself all throughout her life, and if not careful might just lose it with the swiftness."


Below is my reinterpretation of my granddads life lesson on the Queen, "Make sure to use her wisely, and with great care, she will stay by your side for years on end if your fort is held down tightly and secured, but beware when things get tough, or especially when you feel to confident on the field of battle, because that's when she's most vulnerable."



Growing Wiser by each move!

As I got older I had learned of such a truth and reality about myself that my wise granddad taught me on that cool chess board. I learned that when I make hasty decisions, and moves that aren't well thought out, and some very indecisive ones, its always lead me off course in the wrong directions in life. I like to think of those silly errors in my moves as my queen moves, and many times I've truly lost sight of things landing me under great pressure at times, but I then thought back to my granddad, and that game of chess he had took so much of his time to teach me, and I remembered what I had to do next.


Backing off was my only alternative at that point, you know when the going got to rough in life, each and every time I had experienced my queen side of me, OK I know your thinking, "This guy has gone! off of his rocker", and you might be right, but my grandfather was right in every way when he showed me such things in their relation to life. The next piece he would teach me, could be compared to the foundation of all of civilization, The Castle. Whether it be a long shot at the castle by a defending army, or a straight lateral or vertical attack from it, this move had to be decisive, and in such a way to make a statement to those who once threatened the king, who relied on it as a safe haven when things got hot, and to dangerous on the battle field.



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A cool vacation trip to, Miami Beach Florida, me enjoying some of the finest pleasure's there just dream building, after making much wiser decisions in life, all thanks to following my grand fathers great wisdom
A cool vacation trip to, Miami Beach Florida, me enjoying some of the finest pleasure's there just dream building, after making much wiser decisions in life, all thanks to following my grand fathers great wisdom
A cool vacation trip to, Miami Beach Florida, me enjoying some of the finest pleasure's there just dream building, after making much wiser decisions in life, all thanks to following my grand fathers great wisdom

Fortifying your Castle

What I learned about castling the king was paramount, and I was taught to understand the very premise of establishing a fort, and a presence of my own on that day. To fortify your presence is primary, and one of the most important lessons anyone could teach in the game of life, and I don't think my grandfather was playing though, he knew what he was embedding, and drilling into my thick young skull.


He was teaching me how to understand each facet of life, using mere wooden pieces of a chess board, and on that day my eyes had opened up super wide, because I didn't reject what he was saying. Plus it helped me a great deal as a child to be the sponge of the family, listening and absorbing every lecture by all the adults.

Moving onwards he taught me the bishop move next, well this is where his faith in god seemed to pierce through like a sharp dagger into my mind, he lit up my mind into understanding that we must learn to balance ourselves in life, and that takes great wisdom from others as well, seeking counsel, listening to reason instead of nonsense, and guidance from per say a religious belief system. I began to see the light he shinned at me, as if I was someone trapped inside a huge hole, or tunnel of sorts all of my life up till that day. I knew all these lessons would come in handy some day, and I will not preach any further into the meanings of the other pieces of the chess board he had taught me, I'll just leave them left up to your imagination to think about.



After completing 10 years in the US Navy, I had reunited with a uncle of mine, at my grand fathers house, My granddad left me a legacy to never ever forget, and I live in his house today because he fortified his ground for his family to survive
After completing 10 years in the US Navy, I had reunited with a uncle of mine, at my grand fathers house, My granddad left me a legacy to never ever forget, and I live in his house today because he fortified his ground for his family to survive

Next up a Mothers Philosophy gone right!

I decided this hub was getting far to long, and so I broke it into two articles, the very next article will be addressing how my mother has influenced my life, and helped make me a more solid upstanding individual, as well as respectable citizen.

More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That, my friend, was one incredibly smart grandfather you had....the love for him shines through in this beautiful hub, Mike, and I have no doubt he is so proud of you today.

Some of the most important lessons in life I have learned from simple men, men who went about the normal day with humility and great wisdom...your grandfather was one of those men.

Thank you for sharing a small part of this remarkable man. You, my friend, are a joy in my life.

bill


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

I certainly can identify with you about grandfathers and their infinite wisdom and how they have a big influence on our lives. My grandfather was a minister for many years and played the piano and guitar, much to our delight as kids. We spent a lot of fond hours with this man who was a blessing in our lives. A nice hub and most appreciated.


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

For all his lessons taught, the love he gave definitely is demonstrated in your words of praise. His greatness cannot be measured. I wish I had known him.

Great Hub!


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Mike,

Beautiful tribute to an amazing person! My dad was a chess player and did kinda the same thing for me! It seems like you learned some awesome life lessons, and who knew it would be through the game of chess?! Excellent hub Mike!


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India

What a nice way of teaching the real game of life through a game of chess! Very well presented hub CE. Great man-your grandfather. Hats off to him! Sharing it with the hub community. Cheers, Rema.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Yer sir, Bill life has many lessons to learn, and if it wans't for my grand father I may have been lead astray for sure, because he keyed in to some very valuable info, and done it with ease for me to understand, and to remember.

Chess pieces are powerful totems to i thin for all inception purposes, and those who learn how to master its hidden techniques, and rules to how it applies to life, have a huge upper hand in it all.

Thanks for your awesome comment as always, and more power to us writers here on hubpages.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you @whonunuwho, for your insight here, I'm sure your gran father was also very wise indeed, and I will try to get around to your side of hubpages some time soon, its nice to meet ya here.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

@rcrumple, thanks once again for you awesome insight, my grand dad was a cool dude for sure, so may people had liked him and he wasn't even famous for anything.

He was just a cool guy who cared for people in the truly kindest of ways, and its passed on to me, he also taught me to be humble as well, that was one part of him he maintained throughout everything in life or at least for the part I shared with him as a young man growing up.


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

Awesome now I know why you are such a good thinker and writer. It is because you grandfather was caring enough to teach you how to play chess at an early age.


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Chess is a game to train mind to think in the most logical and systematic way. You are very lucky to have a grand father who taught you to play chess at a very young age. When I was in grade IV my home tutor taught me to play chess and told me the importance of the game if can be applied to practical life .

Very nice hub , Mike.......voted up sharing to the world as well.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. Thanks for sharing a part of your life Mike. Your granddad sounds like he was a great and smart man. You're lucky you can live in his house. You could say it's like a blessing for you and your family. Love the pics. Do you still have that chess game? Passing this on.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I am sorry that I don't know much about chess, however your grandfather was able to use that to teach you about life. That is wonderful. Your grandfather was not only smart, but he was loving. The smiles in you family photos show us, what kind of life your family was also giving you. Not in terms of money ( well having money does help) but, love.

Voted up.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Mike, you are so lucky to have had such a wondeful man in your life that loved you so much to teach you so many excellent life lessons! And what a beautiful tribute to such an honorable man. Great work!


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Hey Josh, I been super busy as you can see, its been an epic uphill battle, and I been trying to beat the clock, but I shall repay everyone for all the love that's been poring in on each of my hubs, for sure.

I had to get that out, because you and Bill are always at every hub I write somehow, and I'm blown away by such support y'all two been giving me, and also so many other hubbers here. Its amazing the community we have today, and how strong it is when we all share with one another like this.

Thanks bro for your cool comment and all, and I will catch you in your comment area soon as well.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

@remaniki, thank you for that sweet comment you left me, yes life is a tough thing to teach a young child, and for some reason my grand father must have known he had very little time left on earth.

So I believe he dropped me the greatest gift anyone could receive, and that was the gift of life through exchanging true words of wisdom that could be remembered, and passed on to others.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Hey @flashmakeit, thanks for the cool insight, and the visit, yup my grand father was one cool dude indeed.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

@dghbrh, yes indeed luck! it is for sure he was a good man and very wise at that, and you got it I think it was crafted around real life in the past, and so yes again its a sort of replica of it all.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you so very much @Gypsy Rose Lee for sharing this hub of mine, and for commenting so insightfully, yeah I know I do feel lucky for being allowed to live in his house for sure, the economy is still out of whack, and I believe I been dodging that bullet thanks to him.

Nope I wish I had that cool chess board, it would be cool right!


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

@Michele Travis, Thanks for the cool comment, and its interesting that you could tell from the images so much about my family, that was so thoughtful of you to say about us and my grand father. He was the heart of the family for sure, and we all miss him dearly.


Taalib Pugh1 4 years ago

Yo thanks bro for reminding me again and remembering our grandfather you know he also was a great influence on me he taught chess to and yes I did see the application of it being beneficial in life. But besides that he left me with the secrect to "Fine Art" which opened up my horizon of this world to transcend my life just to being humdrum, but to go further in life.

When he gave a few lessons on how to skillfully draw and even paint eventually it opened up my doors for education (I was accepted into Music and Art) even though I always struggled learning granddad still motivated me and I am really very Grateful for that.

Thanks Mike for the tear jerking memory, and as I sit and think about him on those short sit downs with him I realize just how much he gave me. I love him for that and I thankful to ALLAAAH for having him as my grandfather.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

@TToombs08, Thank you for the cool comment I truly appreciate it.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Oh yes brother, Granddad was a great man, and taught us so many wonderful lessons indeed. I remember when he was teaching you how to draw many of the times, when we were little dudes, yup!

Thanks bro for reading and for the cool comment.


taazakhabar profile image

taazakhabar 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

I agree Chess is a wonderful game... it teaches you many facts about life like for instance the importance of team work. Can you imagine the outcome of a game of chess where opposite kings are starting at each other-- unable to mate the opponent without even just one pawn. So the lesson learnt in life is that big or small every person has his importance. I wish we could say the same for our friends too... Do you agree my friend?


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

@taazakhabar, thank you for your cool comment, I love the game of chess it has lead me out of many situations in life, because I understand now what my granddad was trying to get at pretty much.

Controlling one self's aimless actions is the imperative, and each move we make in life must be very well thought out, and even include counter moves just in case.


SparrowMinistries 4 years ago

Hello CloudExplorer, I want to say you are a remarkable individual in your own right. I am so thankful for your grandfather and for you, because without your writing the rest of us would not have known about your wonderful Granddad. I enjoyed your photos, too. I have never heard this type of analogy of life from the chess game and I admit that I don't have a sharp mind for mastering that game.

Nevertheless, I was fascinated with your story and must say you are a great story teller. Have you thought about writing a book? Your life story or maybe a collection of short stories. I am glad I found you here.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you @SparrowMinistries , oh yes my grandfather was a chess wiz, I wish I would have seen him play the game when he was in his earlier years, but oh well I guess I can leave it up to my imagination to wonder how it was like for him growing up as a tough competitive chess player.

Thanks for your comment you just left me it was so sweet of you to do for me, it is so nice to have met you here on hubpages. I hope to see you in your hubs as well, I been extremely busy with many other things. Chat with you soon.

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