How to Use Love and Accountability to Play Great Chess

Jul 4, 2007, 10:39 AM |

I read somewhere - may be I saw a cartoon - that Bobby Fischer loved his pieces. From what I can remember, he was breathing life into a pawn. I think the commentary said that you could see/feel the love/pain he felt for his pieces. I may be off a little bit on the details. However, I thought I would share what I thought about this. Using love and accountability as a way to play great Chess.

First, let us imagine several scenarios.

1. You are a general of an Army and you have to send your men and equipment into war. For every death and injury of a soldier, you have to explain it to the loved ones. For every loss of equipment or territory, you have to explain it to the Commander in Chief and the Nation.

2. You are the head of your family. Your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on the decisions you make. You are participating in a competition that will determine how much money you make, how long you live, how easy it will be to see and communicate with your loved ones.

3. You are the CEO of a corporation. You have worked your way up. You have to lead your company to success, however success is defined.

Ok, the first three scenarios illustrate the accountability that comes with ownership and responsibility for your decisions and actions. Once you up the level of all these, the thought, consideration, commitment, etc that you put into your decision changes.

4. Think back to your life so far. Who do you trust? Who have you trusted? What did the person or people do to earn your trust? If you have kids, do they trust you? If they do, why do they trust you?

In the fourth scenario, in my case, I trusted people who I felt cared for my well-being, had proven to me that they cared for me by the way they treated me. I know Chess pieces don't think. But if they did, would they trust you with their life?

I think that if you look at Chess pieces a different way,  instead of looking at them as wood or plastic, look at them as your men in combat, your 'family', your employees, ... you will change how you move them around. and if you look at yourself a different way. If you look at yourself as an Army General, a CEO, a Leader, a Head of Household... the quality of your decisions/moves change completely.

Of course, this will not apply to the casual player, but for someone seriously thinking about becoming a very good player, Chess pieces will no longer be pieces of wood or plastic. There will be a life element in it. They will take all life lessons and apply them to their game.

That's how I think one can use love and accountability to play great Chess.