My creative nonfiction piece, “The Rules of Chess,” now appears in The Right Words 9 (2020), 5-6.
The Rules of Chess
by Jane Beal
Chess teaches patience, strategy, history, culture, civility, persistence, and how to effectively engage an opponent in an intellectual arena while maintaining an emotionally or socially warm relationship. Chess teaches emotional self-control. It teaches players to recognize, value, and utilize their resources. It teaches hierarchal thinking and symbolism. It reinforces powerful values. These are the rules of chess:
- Open well.
- Control the center.
- Pay close attention to the present position of the pieces on the board AND never forget your goal.
- Do not move the same piece twice in a row. Think in terms of maneuvers and combinations.
- Be patient. Every move counts. Consider every possible move. Consider every possible response.
- Keep in mind the relative value of the pieces — king, queen, castle, bishop, knight, pawn — ALWAYS but especially when making sacrifices.
- The King is the most valuable.
- The Queen is the most powerful.
- The Rook is essential for the endgame.
- The Bishop and the Knight are of equal value, but they move differently.
- The pawn has the least value of all but can become the most powerful piece on the board, a Queen, if she can make it to the other side of the board.
- Protect pieces as they advance.
- Avoid mistakes. Take advantage of the other player’s mistakes. Festina lente.
- Learn from every game.
- Read about chess, and practice every day.
If you follow these rules, you can not only win at chess but become a chess master.
“The board is set and the pieces are moving.”
~ Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
Photo by Jessica Wilson