What is Your Endgame Strategy?

“Chess is not always about winning. Sometimes it’s simply about learning. And so is life.”

Some truly believe in the adage, “life is a game.” While I know that is not entirely true, I think that strategy plays an important role in our life’s outcomes… luck may define our destinies more than we would like to admit, but we also shape our our own destinies as well. The two are interwoven in ways beyond our comprehension, in the same way that people ponder the meaning of life. I have always been on the nihilistic side, but I do think that the beauty of life should be appreciated and highlighted. Perhaps that is its sole meaning anyway.

The messy process that a chess game unfolds for us is exhausting, and it’s thrilling all at once, that’s what I have come to learn what my endgame strategy looks like: I enjoy learning about the various board configurations as it pertains to understanding how life is meant to be messy and complicated. What’s even more beautiful? The more you lean into that concept, the more luck you are going to have. I am lucky to have learned that at a young age.

“A good player is always lucky.” – Jose Raul Capablanca

I had a friend once who gave me a chess board from his trip to China as a gift on our first date because I mentioned to him that I like playing chess. It was a bold move on his part. I think I actually learned more from that person than most people I have ever met. He has been one of my life’s best teachers. I learned how to play and win at many different games from him. The strategies he taught me were powerful: indeed, your decisive tactics on a chess board will impact the other player’s move and ultimately, the endgame… who is to win? Your intellectual capacity can also let the game unfold in a way that can make the process beautiful… The meaning of life…

“You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” – Jose Raul Capablanca

When I was a little girl, I took a trip to Austria with my mom. I found a life sized chess board and became fascinated with it. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I started moving pieces around on the board and think back on that memory with great appreciation. At the time, I had no idea that I would become a lifelong fan of the game.

The chess game is a wonderful metaphor for life… However, comparing life to a game is a bit paltry as it does not cover the glorious aspects of life that are not concerned with any outcomes. Please “stop and smell the roses.” That is what life is really about and if you realize that, you’re winning. Most importantly, I learned that one never wins when they lose out on love. Another thing… The Queen is the most important player on the chess board. You should always keep that in mind, if you want to win, that is.

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