Shelby Lyman on Chess: More Relevant Than We Think
Sunday, October 4, 2015
(Published in print: Sunday, October 4, 2015)
“Chess is the touchstone of intellect,” we are told by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
It is also an affair of the heart, wrote the physician and grandmaster Siegbert Tarrasch, who declared unabashedly that, “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.”
Many are attracted to its universality, as expressed by the Indian proverb, “Chess is a sea in which a gnat can drink and an elephant can bathe.”
The World Chess Federation attests to this essential truth with its motto: “Gens una sumus” (We are one people).
Chess is, above all, a manifestation of the play and sporting instinct. Inextricably linked, play and sports sustain, enhance and celebrate individual and collective life.
At one extreme is the benign, joyful activity of children, at the other a prototype for war.
Princes have been trained in the intricacies of the game so as to better carry out their princely functions.
Military leaders and rulers — no less than Napoleon, Peter the Great and Robert E. Lee — have carried chess sets into battle.
Curiously, in the fiercely competitive world of today, knowledge of chess is an asset proudly listed on a resume. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 250,000 LinkedIn profiles include a special interest in the game as an item of potential interest to an employer.
Chess, which is growing by leaps and bounds in popularity, is more relevant to our lives than we might think.
Sign up for my free email chess course for Beginners and Club Players. In this free course, I focus on helping beginner chess players see the entire board. You will learn how to attack your opponent from move 1 and create a new threat with every single move! I’ve created this series of lessons designed to help beginner and club level players understand the game at a deeper level so that you can start beating higher rated players immediately. Start getting free tips from me directly to your inbox!
– GM Susan Polgar