Chess is not simply a game, but also a way of life as it mimics our real life in many ways. Many people do not even know that playing chess can teach us valuable lessons in and about life. This game is a microcosm of how we make decisions in a short time under pressure, using creativity, evaluation and analysis, calculation, strategy, and continuous learning and development, among others. There are various lessons I learnt from Chess and some of them are

a. Creativity: We need to be very creative while playing chess. The more creative we are, the better players we become. With every move, we need to come up with a new plan or strategy, and without being creative, we won’t be able to do this. The same thing applies in life – if we are not creative enough, we are not likely to succeed in life.

b. Making quick decisions : Competitive chess is usually played within a fixed time limit. Often, especially towards the end of the game, we are likely to run out of time and need to rapidly decide on the moves we need to win the game (or at least, draw or not lose too badly).

Some of these decisions need to be made within fractions of a second due to the time limit. But we can still win the game if we make the right decisions within that short period of time. Similarly, there will be times in our life when we need to make quick decisions. The better the decisions we can make quickly, the better the outcome will be.

C. Take notice of patterns : Being able to spot a pattern of behaviour gives us a psychological advantage. This skill is used in chess to identify the pattern of moves our opponent makes. Using this skill in real life will enable us to note the behavioural patterns of those around us and help us to come up with better strategies to deal with them, whether it be our family members or our colleagues.

D. Think ahead and outside the box: Chess trains us to think ahead and outside the box. There are many times in a game when our plans are foiled and we need a better one to stay in the game. Good chess players always think many moves ahead; this is a skill we will need over and over again in real life. Thinking ahead enables us to plan and be better prepared for the various eventualities of life, while thinking outside the box helps us find solutions to problems in ways that others may not have thought of.