Chess, politics, and life.

Many, many, many years ago, I would occasionally play the game chess. I was never particularly good at the game, but I enjoyed it. It was an interesting form of problem solving.

But you know, the games I enjoyed the most, the greatest memories I have, is when I was facing an endgame where I could see no way out. I would look at the board, and plot out potential outcomes for every move I could possible make, every option I had – and every move, every scenario, ever possibility would ultimately end in defeat. I had placed myself in a situation which was completely unwinnable.

Yet I would never resign. Why? Because I enjoyed it. And I don’t mean simply because I would get a thrill the rare occasions when a solution presented itself down the track, when I actually managed to ‘solve’ the puzzle. Rather,  it was that I enjoyed the game itself. And the longer I could draw the game out, the better. Even if it was unwinnable, the challenge in delaying defeat as long as possible made it worth it.

So I played on. And invariably lost. But it was always worth it.

As in chess, as in politics, as in life.

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4 Responses to “Chess, politics, and life.”

  1. Iain Hall Says:

    I play chess with my brother over the net and it is how we stay in touch, He is generally a better player than me but frankly I don’t care. But I agree with the thrust of your post never give up because even when it seems hopeless in an end game your opponent will sometimes make the wrong move that will at least allow you to save a draw or a stale mate. As You suggest it is analogous to life it self.

  2. Ben Says:

    I was a member of a chess club. Warning: Never play a Geelong Grammar kid. They’re too sharp.

  3. Jacques Chester Says:

    It’s also a courtesy to other player to let them actually beat you. Resigning too early deprives someone of the satisfaction of victory.

  4. Jake the Muss Says:

    Player 1: So comprehensive is your mastery of this game that even though I can see your advantageous position, I cannot fathom a single method of which to save myself. My cause is hopeless, my fate is set. You have won already.

    Player 2: …oh gee that was a hollow victory.

    Fuck, you are hard to please Jacques.

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