Use All of Your Senses to Win at Chess

Use All of Your Senses to Win at Chess

5 | For Beginners

When touring Yellowstone back in May, I was on sensory overload. There was so much to see: geysers everywhere; volcanic rock; trees I'd never seen before; eagles; osprey; bison; elk; jagged rocks; snow (yes, on the highest elevations--I even stopped and threw a snowball); rivers; deep blue lakes; fast-moving streams; waterfalls; gorgeous gorges; blue skies; flowers; and so much more. I just couldn't take it all in.

Sounds filled the air: birds singing; water falling, churning, and gurgling; wind in the trees; momma animals calling their babies; geysers spraying; and so much more. And the smells filled the senses: fresh air; running water; evergreen; bison dung; and more. Even the sense of touch was overwhelmed: cold water; snow; temperature (was in the 30s when I arrived); cold handrails; rough benches around Old Faithful; rocks; and more. I tried bison and elk in restaurants. The elk was a little gamey. It took all five senses to take it all in and still it was not enough!

In a similar way, we must use all of our senses to win at chess (or risk missing the win):

  • SIGHT: Use your eyes to see the game from your perspective AND your opponent's. Flip the board. Think about what you would do if you were him/her. Look at every space to which your opponent may move.
  • SOUND. Now, I realize that makes no sound, but try to imagine what the opponent is thinking. What is he/she saying to himself/herself? Try to get your opponent to wonder what you are up to!
  • SMELL. Assume every move he/she makes is "fishy." Don't forget the previous move--the last move may just be a distraction (to separate the two moves that will bring your disaster)! Work for the sweet smell of victory with every move!
  • TASTE. Avoid a bitter taste by making sure your king is protected. Protect all your pieces, even pawns. Develop a sweet plan.
  • TOUCH. If it helps, set up a real chess set. Some find three-dimensional chess helps them to see things better. I don't know if it is the angle/perspective or something else.

How do you use your senses to ensure a win? Leave a comment!

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