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The Game That Teaches About Life - Chess

Updated on November 4, 2019

Chess was once a game reserved for the nobility. Kings and rulers believed that it helped them come up with better strategies to govern well. Today, anyone can play chess, and this game of logic has proven to have many practical, real-life lessons we can learn from it. You don’t even have to play against a human opponent, thanks to the invention of chess computer programs. In the 80’s there was a revolution in the algorithms chess computers used wherein more emphasis was put on threats to the computer than on attack. This geometrically improved their playing ability.

So, how does this translate to benefits in your everyday life? Read on – you may be surprised.

Benefits to Business

The ultimate goal of any business is to generate profits. Bigger businesses tend to generate more profits, so every business would like to grow and expand as quickly as possible. Some businesses rush about it. However, business growth and expansion cannot be forced. The business has to expand at its own pace – otherwise, the business’ resources will be stretched too thin to sustain the expansion. If you don’t have the finances for your business set in order, it will go bankrupt, and you will end up losing everything.

One of the lessons that computer chess teaches about business is the necessity of a good defensive plan with an awareness of where you are vulnerable.

An impatient chess player may sacrifice his/her most valuable pieces in a bid to win the game sooner. However, the computer opponent will guard against these attacks, and that strategy would result in a loss for you.

Financial Benefits

Saving money for the future is prudent. Investing is one way to save money. So, what if you were presented with two choices: to either invest your money in an I Bond with an interest rate of 1.9%, or invest it in the stock market for a potential gain of 8 to 15% and risk loss at odds as high as 70%? Would you be willing to take the risk and possibly earn more money, or would you play it safe and settle for the interest of the I Bond?

Looking at the winning strategy of chess will help you make such tough decisions. Consider your option to save your money in an I Bond as a slow, long-term chess strategy against the computer, and the option to invest it in stocks as a quick and risky sort of pre-emptive strategy to win the game. The option you choose determines the outcome.

Health Benefits

It is argued that running is one of the best ways to keep fit. Did you know that running too often can make you six times more susceptible to respiratory illnesses?

It is also recommended that you live in a clean environment and minimize contact with harmful germs. But, studies have shown that using too many disinfectants to kill germs can weaken your immune system.

How does this relate to the strategies used by computers to win chess? It’s actually two different lessons. When running for health, you need to protect yourself first by taking a break occasionally. If you don’t, you may end up losing all the benefits you gained. When using disinfectants (your attack), you have to make sure not to be too aggressive, otherwise the attack will backfire and you will be the victim.

Happiness Benefits

People have been drinking for centuries. Traditionally, alcohol is reserved for celebrations as it helps to improve the mood and happiness of revelers. Today, however, many people drink whenever they wish. Many people drink to suppress their bad moods, which works in the short term. Drinking, however, is a double-edged sword as you have to deal with hangovers the next day and chronic illnesses if you continue. That being the case, it is more prudent to drink only when the occasion calls for it, and not to drink excessively. Again, protect yourself from the attack before aggressively moving forward.


These are some thoughts on how chess relates to life. If you have any other areas of life that you think chess can teach us about, I would love to hear from you.


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