There is no I in Chess
Martial arts legend Bruce Lee famously stated that there is no opponent because the term I does not exist. What does this purport to mean in the context of chess?
When one realises in chess that all that matters is the relative juxtaposition of the chessmen then its easy to realise that the individual is of little consequence. Not ones chess rating, not ones psychological demeanour, not even ones opponents chess rating or demeanour is of importance, for there is no opponent, because there is no I.
The consequence of this realisation should be quite profound. When we suffer defeat we will not become overly despondent, after all we are human and prone to aberration and cannot help but make mistakes. Its our nature. To think otherwise is irrational and illogical. When we struggle and win after a long battle we shall not become self consumed, overly confident and egotistical, but balanced and modest, for we realise that it might have been different on any other day. To think otherwise is irrational and illogical.
This mode of thought has all kinds of significance attached to it for the chess player but the idea is to maintain a balance. We shall deeply respect lower rated opponents and not fall into the folly of treating them with contempt. We shall not be in any fear or awe of higher rated opponents, because their reputation and rating are of no consequence, all that matters is the chessmen.
There is no I in chess.