10 Life Lessons From Chess

by Milica Knezevic on January 28, 2022
Chess Park

A board with 64 squares, 32 pieces on it and a set of rules about how each piece can move; can there really be that much to it?

We definitely think so and we’re about to explain why it’s often used as a metaphor for planning your next move in business, war, or life. Like any of those things, if you want to come out on top you have to think rationally and out-maneuver your opponent. It’s of little wonder that famous fans of the game include great military strategists like Napoleon, Winston Churchill and business leaders like Bill Gates and Peter Thiel. Life is like a game of chess. Every decision you make can either bring you a victory or defeat. Even acting upon your wisest decision can bring out a negative outcome. The chess pieces must keep moving though. 

Here Are 10 Lesson Chess Can Teach:

  1. Have a strategy
  2. Have a plan B and a plan C
  3. See the big picture
  4. Think ahead
  5. Get creative
  6. Think like your opponent
  7. How to bluff
  8. Spot patterns
  9. Be decisive and take risks
  10. Make the right move from the start

1. Have a strategy

  • Learning the rules of chess is simple but that alone won’t help you win matches. For that you need strategy, and life is pretty much the same.
  • Wandering around aimlessly in life won't bring out the best it has to offer. You will spend your days never truly satisfied with result, as they will appear to happen to you witouth control. 
  • Chess requires strategy and so does a bountiful life. Put together a financial plan, a plan of action each week and see your successes pile up. 
  • Discover chess strategy by learning the rules of chess and other helpful tips here:

2. Have A Plan B And A Plan C

Plan a b c
  • In chess, you can have a brilliant strategy to beat your opponent but if they make moves you don’t want them to, it can all come crashing down to nothing. That’s why you need backup plans B and even C for when Plan A doesn’t work out.
  • In life, it is exactly the same. You cannot put all of your eggs in one basket, you have to calculate and think it through. Consider the moment where something unexpected happens and you have to respond, the response instance is your plan B or C.

3. See The Big Picture

  • In chess, it’s called seeing the whole board; in life, it’s seeing the big picture. When you’re inexperienced you can be fixated on that one set of moves you’re making to win the game. But you’re so focused on them that you’ve missed something that’s staring you right in the face. You only see it once your opponent moves in and turns the tables on you.
  • Rookie chess players often make that mistake. To get good you need to start to see the whole board. The same in life there are times when you can’t see the wood from the trees like when you’re so fixated on doing your same job day in and day out that opportunities pass you by without notice.
  • You could also be so zoned in on your business plan that you didn’t see its fatal flaws. Like a good chess player, avoid these mistakes and blind spots and learn how to see the whole picture.

4. Think Ahead

Think Ahead
  • In life the most successful people are two steps ahead or well ahead of the game. They are organized, anticipate problems and have an idea of how to deal with them well before they occur.
  • Poor players just think about their next move. Great players like Garry Kasparov or Mikhail Tal are known for their ability to think many moves ahead and playing chess can give you that mindset of forward thinking. It can also help you to apply it to all aspects of life.

5. Get Creative

Be creative
  • When you’re playing a beginner at chess, it probably won’t be hard to find ways to attack. But if they’re good and don’t make any mistakes there won’t be obvious ways of doing that. That’s why you need to get creative in your game plan.
  • Of the many benefits chess has, one of the lesser expected ones is that it can actually make you more creative. In fact, it’s been shown to improve your thinking in both hemispheres of the brain and help you with logical and creative thinking at the same time.
  • In chess, getting creative means finding chances where obvious ones don’t exist. Thinking outside of the box to get to where you need to be and we think that’s another great reason to play chess. Think creatively with one of the most creative online chess games, which is Chess Universe!

6. Think Like Your Opponent

  • Good chess players will watch what their opponents are doing; how they react to attacks and how their moves fit into a bigger plan. They get inside their opponent’s head.
  • In the history of strategy, a lot of thinkers have advocated the same approach from Sun Tzu to Don Corleone think like your enemy. As Sun Tzu put it, “to know your enemy you must become your enemy”.
  • For those of us who aren’t soldiers or mafia bosses we don’t necessarily have real life enemies. But when we’re negotiating, asking for a pay raise or trying to outsmart a business competitor, it’s a huge advantage if we can get inside the head of our sparring partner.
  • Check out some famous chess matches and see what this looks like: 

7. How To Bluff

  • It’s the same as in poker, in boxing and martial arts or in war. You make it look as if you’re about to make one move and your opponent prepares to defend for it and that’s when you move in to make your real attack. A totally different one that your opponent was blind to. Playing chess will be your introduction to the art of perfect bluffing. 
  • The art of making a bluff or a faint is something chess can teach you again even when we don’t think of people as real enemies. When we’re negotiating being able to do the unexpected and catch our partner off guard is something that can put us in a position of power.

8. Spot Patterns

  • We just talked about watching your opponent’s moves in chess, using them to guess what move they’ll make next or what they’ll do in a given situation. When you’re doing this essentially you’re spotting patterns. 
  • There are so many things in life this can help us with like doing the detective work and finding the source of that problem that’s been bugging us.
  • Spotting the signs that a business plan is about to run into trouble, realizing when something is about to become the next big thing or a stock that’s about to go up or down. Start playing chess today and improve your skills ! 

9. Be Decisive And Take Risks

  • In chess you do need to carefully analyze your position before making your move but you don’t want to spend forever thinking about it. You’ve got to be decisive.
  • Make that move, formulate that strategy and commit to it. This is especially true in tournaments when players have a time limit for their first 20 moves. If they’re too slow with their earlier moves they’ll have to rush with their later ones. And if the clock gets down to zero, well they’ve lost the game.
  • As well as teaching you to make calculated moves, chess teaches you to be decisive in making them.

10. Make The Right Move From The Start

  • In some games like soccer, the first few minutes don’t have much bearing on the final result but in chess everything counts from move one. That first move has consequences that shape how the board is going to look and how the rest of the game will go. 
  • That’s why chess teaches you to get things right from the very start and it’s got all kinds of similarities to life. Research shows that when you meet somebody for the first time their impression of you is going to be influenced by the first seven seconds.
  • When you’re setting up a company, you’ll probably be struggling for cash in the early days which is why you need to make all the right moves from the get-go. Just like a good chess player, understand the first move counts in life too.
by Ferrer on May 24, 2022

“It is cool to play chess. My father taught me how to play chess at seven and introduced beautiful concepts that I try to pass on to my kids. The elements and concepts of life are so perfectly illustrated on a chess board. The ability to accurately assess your position is the key to chess, which I also think is the key to life.”

- Will Smith

by Yul Natino on May 24, 2022

Thanks! This tips might be helpful… I’m a beginner and it will help me along my progress.


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published