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How Chess is Like... [FILL IN THE BLANK]

How Chess is Like... [FILL IN THE BLANK]

erik
Mar 14, 2017, 12:00 AM 52 Fun & Trivia

Chess is many things. A game. An art. A hobby. A science. A sport? But it is also a metaphor that is used in the media to tap into the symbol of intellectual struggle. If you want to show how intricately strategic and thoughtful and crafty and smart and amazing something is - just say how it is like chess. To the external world, anything can be like chess. Tennis is like chess! Politics is like chess! Business is like chess. Dating is JUST LIKE CHESS!! Everything can be like chess.

But to the those of us who really know chess, this is a little insulting. Tennis is too simple to be like chess. Politics is too dishonest to be like chess. Business is too opaque to be like chess. And dating is far to difficult to be compared to chess. Let chess be chess!

...and then we get deeply into chess. Study it. Capture it. Sink into the 64 squares until we dream of them at night. And then we get to the point where chess becomes so core to our framework for thinking... that the metaphor flips. Now we want to understand chess better, and so we reverse the symbolism in hope of unlocking more secrets of the game through likening it to other things. If we could just understand that chess is a lot like ____________, then we will play better!

And that's what led me to the search bar. I typed in "how chess is like" and Google enlightened me with seven magical tidbits of wisdom. Each one of these symbols promises to unlock the game just a little bit more...

"how chess is like life"

Chess is like life because it is the rich balance of risk and reward, played out on the 64 squares of your existence. In life you wake up, make the first moves of your day, position yourself toward greater potential... and then lose material (where are my keys??) and blunder away your day until you resign into bed. 

I resign. 

"how chess is like war"

Chess is exactly like war. I have been in SO MANY wars. Nothing has prepared me for chess as acutely and precisely as my many war-time experiences. I will never forget the harrowing moments of tossing water balloons at my friends every summer. And from those battles I have gleaned valuable chess knowledge - never turn your back when standing at the edge of the swimming pool. (To all you real soldiers and those who have experienced war, you are braver than I will ever be. My heart goes out to you!)

If you can do war stuff, you can play chess!

"how chess is like feudalism"

Of all the items on this list, this hits most close to home. I absolutely hated growing up bowing down to the feudal lords of Southern California in the 1980s. Lord Reagan was in command and the struggle was real. I've taken everything I learned from the complex interactions of my neighborhood vassals and nobles and applied it with rigor to my chess game. 

Basically where I grew up. 

Never give up. Never surrender. 

"how chess is like curling"

This is a double metaphor, potent in both it's meanings. On the one hand, chess is SO MUCH like sliding giant stones across ice while furiously sweeping and screaming. And on the other hand, chess is SO MUCH like working on the one single muscle that is least useful in your day-to-day life. Need I say more? 

Exactly like chess! So much to learn here. 

Getting. Better. At. Chess!

"how chess is like a game of life"

Now. We're. Talking! As a kid I RULED at the game of life. I always became the doctor. Got married. Had twins. Won the lottery. And now, every time I play chess I just repeat to myself, "Avoid the skunk farm. Avoid the skunk farm. Avoid the skunk farm."

Chess = Game of Life

"how chess is like math"

One plus one equals two. Two plus two equals four. Check. Mate. Seriously, the better you are at counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and subtraction, the better you will be at playing a strategic board game so complicated that it has more possible games than atoms in the universe. It's THAT easy. 

This right here is the secret to chess. 

"how chess is like marriage"

Nice try, Google. My wife reads what I write. 

As if.

 Chess is like everything. Everything is like chess. I hope you feel enormously enlightened. 

What do you think chess is like?

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