Think carefully

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

I enjoy playing chess. I am not that great at it I am so not great that I am embarrassed to tell you my ranking. Let’s just say it is not near Bobby Fischer but probably higher than Lennie (you know from “Of Mice and Men”).

I like to sometimes read posts on line about how to gain an edge at games and advance the opening or end game. One thing that seems to be consistent throughout all posts or opinions from all players is that one should think carefully about every move he or she makes.

Think carefully. Those two words are powerful.  Think carefully probably can and should be applied to many of our life decisions. Think: to reason. Carefully: taking pains in ones work.

It is fun to get swept away in snap decisions, making them or following those who make them, but often snap decisions get us in the most trouble.

When making a move in chess consider these things

1. Is some piece of mine undefended? If so I should pay attention to the undefended pieces to avoid a fork (this is a chess trap)

in life

1. Is there some facet of life which requires immediate attention? (a relationship in peril for example) If so I should find the root cause for said peril see if I can influence it and if I can get the ball rolling if not no worries

In chess

2. Is my king safe? (In chess the game is over when one player captures a king) If the king is not safe he should be protected, I happen to think this

check should be number one but you know each has his own way to play

In life

2. Is what I am about to do going to put me in mortal danger? If so maybe safety should be looked at before performing your move

In chess

3. Is my move achieving something?  It is better to move with a wrong plan than no plan at all

In life

3. Is my move achieving something? If so what is it achieving? There was a book written by a popular minister called “The Purpose Driven Life” It was a religious text which pointed out how everyone has a purpose. I am not sure where you fall on religion but being able to point to our actions and say “I did that because of this” is important and helpful. Even if you are simply making a move so that you can experience change realizing this is your reason will help avoid getting yourself involved in a surreal  aimless state . ” I am not sure why I am here or doing what I am doing I am not sure of anything” be sure of yourself and your actions if you are unsure of anything else

In chess

4. What move am I expecting my opponent to play? This is something I often struggle with. Your opponent is doing his or her best to trap your king and as such there are times when you can predict his or her movements and prepare for them. (back to is king defended)

In life

4.What is on the horizon, can I do anything to prepare for it? I live in an area prone to hurricanes, as such it is advised that all residents create a hurricane preparedness kit. This is some practical planning based on precedent and prediction of the future.


It is fun to look at these rules and try apply them to chess and life. It is important to keep these rules in mind but even more important to remember the words from one of the greatest authors.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

Life is a gift enjoy it




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