How do you balance Chess and Life?

Jun 6, 2008, 6:21 AM |


I know that for one to grow better at chess we must put forth the effort to study it or as a friend recently said, "Chess is 99% perspiration 1% inspiration meaning you get what you put into it."

At this stage in life, I am now a husband, father 4x over, business owner, and involved to some extent in my community (circle of influence). Chess in many way represents the plan of life, the striving toward a goal. It involves sacrifices that open the way for opportunity.

Yet, I find myself struggling to balance chess and life. Chess is important but how does one strive to better himself at chess and balance the rest of his life? There are even struggles within in my love for chess.

Do I study the history of chess or do I study tactics and positions. Do I seek to find what others before me enjoyed about chess or do I study the Chigorin Variation of the Ruy Lopez until it becomes second nature.

I have decided that I should do it all. Just not all at once. I have decided to grow with chess. Not to spring up fast only to dry up and wither away. Chess just like other important things in life (e.g. The Triune God, family, friends, etc. - not that chess is equal to God or family!) should be developed fully in a steady manner. I will strive to become a chess player that grows more like a strong oak tree with good roots and a strong trunk.

I encourage you to study the history of chess as well as her strategies, tactics, and openings. History is important!

Also, do not use your chess ability to put others down or glorify yourself. Chess is not about beating one's opponent. If you cannot see past yourself you aren't playing chess but instead just a game. Yes, it is about a contest between two individuals but don't get lost in a tactic and forget the people or history.

Just a few thoughts that I am sure not everyone agrees with. Just remember life is about balance and moderation and you really need to see past the surface of things whether it is chess, your relationships, or the creation around us.

Feel free to leave comments about your perspective.