6 Life Lessons from the Game of Chess


There’s a lot to learn in 64 squares – and the reality is, some of the most important lessons in life can be learned through the game of chess. Some of the principals you learn as a chess player are super helpful in making decisions beyond the chess board.



Recognize Opportunity

You can’t depend on your opponent to make a bad move first in order for you to make a good one. Chess teaches you that just like in life, you need to create your own opportunities – and to never wait too long to make a move, because the perfect time may never come or come too late. Whether it be in chess, sports, or life you are in charge of creating your own opportunities and letting your skills do the talking.


Look At the Bigger Picture

In chess you have to play with a purpose and keep the bigger picture in mind, always trying to think two steps ahead. Just like in life, you need to think about the future, in order to make the right decisions now. It may seem hard, but sometimes you just need to go for it, making a hard choice now can lead to a large reward later.


Failure Helps Us Grow

Nothing teaches us more than mistakes and failures. Real, true learning isn’t usually easy, and it’s normal to fail first and learn second. No matter how skilled you are, you are bound to lose at least a few chess games. Just as in life, assume you will make mistakes – but be sure to learn from them – and don’t give up just because you can’t do something yet!


All Actions Have Consequences

In a game of chess you are going to learn pretty quickly that all your actions have consequences, whether they be positive or negative. In chess and in life, every move you make has a purpose.


Accept the Fact That Bad Things Happen

Sometimes you lose a piece and the game turns out drastically harder than anticipated. Life doesn’t always seem fair, and bad things happen, but we have to learn to cope, get over it, learn from it, and move on.


Always Have a Goal in Mind

Goals give you something to work for and focus on. In chess you may have goals of improving your rating, to checkmate within a certain amount of moves, or to try out a new tactic. Just as in life, making goals (no matter how big or small) gives you a reason to work hard, and a success to celebrate when that goal is completed.