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God and Chess

God and Chess

Aug 11, 2009, 8:18 PM 5

Do you believe in God - a creator of the Earth whose perfection can be seen in nature? Are you constantly intrigued by the intricacies and beauty of chess? I believe that all of us desire to be perfect (or complete) human beings, and this is an innate trait because we are made in the image of God, who is perfect. Furthermore, God commands us to be perfect/complete in the book of Matthew, chapter 5 verse 48. I think this desire for perfection is expressed in our chess play. It may be hard to call any chess game an example of "perfection," but the chess player is certainly seeking perfection as he maneuvers his pieces on the board. This endeavor for perfection makes me feel like I am reaching out to touch the divine.

Most of us cannot play chess perfectly just like most of us cannot make all the right decisions in life. Even those fortunate humans who seemingly play a perfect game have critics who claim their play was not perfection. Truly, those of us working to correct all wrongs and to live a beautiful life work for the same end in chess. I know this is not a completely original topic. Bobby Fischer was quoted for saying "Life is Chess." Indeed, Bobby lived for chess but life also shares some characteristics with chess, such as the goal of perfection. I think chess is addictive because of this human aspiration to play a perfect game. If it were easy to play a perfect chess game, would I continue to play? Since there is always room for improvement with my chess, I keep coming back for more. If life were so easy, would we really enjoy life?

Anyway, back to God. The Bible says that God/Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life." This saying has many meanings. One of them is that all truth originates from God. Most of us love truth. If you do not love truth, then you are bent or lost. The love of truth is an inherent human characteristic that was passed on to us from God, since he is Truth. When we play chess we play within the boundaries of a chess board that has rules that can never be broken. Chess is always constant and always fair. The pieces never lie and the game never deceives. If only life could be so fair! It's comforting to know that my efforts and abilities will always be represented fairly when I play chess. I think we love the truth and honesty in chess and that a chess game is not corrupt like the world we live in. Chess provides us with a temporary oasis of reason, truth, and justice.

There are other ways that God can be seen through chess. A well-played chess game is beautiful. There’s the beauty of well planned sacrifices, the beauty of strategic positioning, and even the beauty of perseverance. It’s cool that God reveals himself to us through a simple board game. If a simple creation like chess can contain deep complexity and confuse the human mind so heavily then imagine what God is really capable of creating.

If you have any other ideas of how God's divinity is expressed through chess, then please share them!

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