Is Chess All About Winning
When it comes to sports and activities, we live in a world that loves to see their favorite players or teams win. And while players work hard with the hopes of winning - is that all that these activities and sports are about? Hopefully not. The fact is, we can’t always win, so it’s important to put winning and losing in the proper perspective, and acknowledge the fact that winning and succeeding are two different things.
When you look at success as fulfilling your potential, trying your best, or meeting your goals – winning becomes a by-product. A player that views a game this way is far more likely to look at defeat as a learning opportunity to better their game, and have a more enjoyable experience when they play.
People choose to play chess with different goals in mind, some may play to win, others play to exercise their mind, some play to socialize, and some people simply play to have fun. So if the focus isn’t solely on winning, what is the value of these competitive activities?
Good or bad, every opponent you play is helping you become a better player yourself. Losing is nothing to be ashamed of as long as you know you did your best. And if you focus on continually getting better in the long run, you can worry less about whether each game you play ends in a win or a loss. You don’t have to like losing, but when you do, it’s important to study that game, and take time to reflect on both your moves, and your opponent’s moves in order to become a better player.
As cliché as it sounds, sometimes the things you learn from losing are even more important than the things you learn from winning. Sure it feels great to win a game, however if you were to win every game, you’re not going to learn much. Playing against a stronger player will probably highlight your mistakes, but it will also teach you just as much about what you do and don’t want to do again in future games.
Whether your goal in playing chess is to win, exercise your mind, or socialize, the most important thing to focus on is that you met your personal goal(s), and enjoyed playing, no matter the outcome. Your personal success should absolutely be the main focus in the end.
So back to the original question, is chess all about winning?
Sure, winning and losing are both essential parts of competing, but that shouldn’t be all that it’s about. Sometimes you are going to win, and sometimes you are going to learn, so it's important to focus your energy on trying your best, improving, and celebrating individual successes.