Life as a Chess Match

Maybe it's because I'm a chess lover, but I've learned that many elements of life required a similar amount of thinking, planning, and strategizing as chess. 

I've laid out some of the obvious similarities below: 

Planning for the future: Planning well involves a mixture of strategy (long-term wealth planning, for example) and tactics (short-term calculations about how to achieve your goals). 

Time management: Time is a precious resource. In chess, time management is required both on the clock (when playing a timed game, as is always the case in tournaments) and on the board (the unit of time is called a tempo, and wasting tempi is a recipe for disaster). 

Pattern recognition: Both in life and in chess, reasoning well about complicated problems requires recognizing patterns, structures, and analogies. Most often, situations can be segmented into simpler pieces and to make it easier to effectively use past experience.

Differences: here are a few key differences between chess and life.

Randomness: Chess does not involve rolling dice, flipping coins, or other stochastic components. Chess players do sometimes say things like "he got lucky" after a loss, but it's debatable whether that is really luck. Life is suffused with randomness (which is a major reason that we need probability statistics).

Information: Chess is a game of complete information, unlike poker for example. You know exactly where your opponent's pieces are. You know exactly how your opponent's pieces are allowed to move. You know precisely what the rules of the game are. In life, it may be hard to know what the capabilities of your enemies are (and it may even be hard to know who your enemies are, or if you have any), and there isn't a standard definition of "success."

Zero-sum: Chess is a zero-sum game. If one player wins, then the other player loses. It's binary in that way, much like any other sport (where ties aren't an option of course). There are draws (ties) in chess, but that is considered "splitting the point" (in most tournaments, a draw results in each player gaining 1/2 point, whereas a win results in 1 point and a loss results in 0 points). In life, it's often very possible, and very important, for people to work together collaboratively and do better than they would have if they approached everything as a cutthroat battle.

Take a step back and analyze your next move. Leverage your queen and take the king(dom).