Thursday, July 30, 2009

Checkmate Moment

Greetings happy people,

I love playing chess.It’s a game that involves strategy, focus, and quick thinking. It is a game where you not only think of your next move, but three moves after that. It is a game where it would take minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master.

How did I learn to play chess? Was it from my days in school? Nope! Was it from co-workers? Not really. The person that taught me how to play this game was my little sister Crystal. She taught me how each piece on the chessboard moves. She taught me how each piece can capture any opponent’s piece. From pawn to king, I learned the various move structures of each piece on the board.

When it was time to play against Crystal, I learned that knowing the pieces and playing the game are two VERY different things!

I played my first ever chess game. It was a tough start but after mounting an impressive comeback…..I lost. I played against her again, and lost again. Never giving up, I played against her for the third time!! Was the third time a charm? YES!! FOR HER!! I suffered defeat at that game too. It took me ten times to finally beat my sister in a game of chess. Through each loss, I learned lessons in the process. What worked and what did not work. I could have stopped playing the game five losses ago, but I knew that there was a way to eventually emerge triumphant.

Now that I finally beat my sister in a game of chess, it was time for me to face my next opponent, the computer. I bought a chess CD for my computer and started playing. Like the first few games with my little sister, I experienced defeat against the computer. This time it took me four times to beat the computer – WHOOPPEE!! Then, I noticed the skill level of the game….it was at “moron” level. The more I played the game, the better I became. I learned lessons at each level the computerized game offered: moron, drunk, patzer (amateur), tit-for-tat, reckless, desperado, steamroller, and assassin. With the exception of the steamroller and assassin, I managed to beat the other levels in this game. It took numerous losses, but I did become victorious at the first six skill levels.

Learning to play against the computer was a lot different that learning to play against Crystal. The computerized version had different equations and strategies compared to that of the human mind. Thanks to the experience on the computer, I managed to beat my little sister more than ten straight times. I played against other friends, relatives, and co-workers too. Whether it is by victory or defeat, a lesson can be learned at each game.

What major lesson can be learned from this simple, yet complex board game? Well, It can be summed up into a simple math equation: 100% Intention + 0% Mechanism = 100% RESULTS.

This equation means that once you have the intent of your goal in mind, you can achieve your results by taking different paths. Let’s look at the game of chess for example. The intent of the game is to have a checkmate – capturing the opponent’s king. The mechanisms you have are the supporting 15 pieces on the chessboard. Whether it is a pawn, rook, knight, bishop, or queen, each plays a role in not only capturing the opponent’s king, but also protecting your own. When it comes to playing this game, the “one-track” strategy will never work, because it would become very predictable. Instead there are many moves and strategies that can help you get the checkmate. If one play does not work, try another one! One way or another you will bellow the words “CHECKMATE!!”

This equation can also be used in many strategies that go beyond the chessboard. If you have a presentation to prepare and your PowerPoint doesn’t work…go to a different backup plan. If you experience a traffic jam on your way to work, find another way to get there. What about singing a note that is too high for you? Try a different note! Once you have the goal and the supporting resources to accommodate you, nothing can stop you and you will have your CHECKMATE moment.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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