Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chess and the Meaning of Life

Chess and the meaning of Life

Quoting from - Dr J Slobodzien and his Internet essay "Chess & the 7 Dimensions of Life" having chess as a metaphor representing the 7 dimensions of life:

7 - Dimensions of Life

1. Social / Cultural Dimension - I started seeing that your chess pieces are like family members and significant others in your life that you try to protect the best you can. We are all alike (black or white in chess) and we try to move and communicate in ways that will support our mutual goals. Unfortunately though, you end up losing the ones you love.

2. Medical/ Physical Dimension - In order to maintain a healthy body we must maintain a balance of moving (exercise), eating (our opponents pieces), and resting (knowing when not to move).

3. Mental/ Emotional Dimension - Chess forces us to think really hard about our actions, the consequences of our actions, and how our behavior affects others and the world around us. It also gives us opportunities to experience and deal with emotions - like anger, revenge, grief, and joy, etc.

4. Educational/ Occupational Dimension - Chess develops our attention span, concentration abilities, and memory - so that we can learn, be trained and skilled, and maintain satisfying work experiences.

5. Spiritual/ Religious Dimension - I didn't notice a spiritual side to chess until one of my pawns first got transformed (born-again) into a Queen. At that point, I realized that our weakest members in life have the potential to become our strongest heroes. Chess also develops our faith in a set of organized beliefs and practices much like religion.

6. Legal/ Financial Dimension - Chess teaches us that there are consequences for not obeying the law (not playing by the rules of the game). There are also rewards for logically and systematically making the right moves in life.

7. Self-Control/ Higher Power Control Dimension - Chess teaches us that even though we may follow all the rules, all of the time - we do not have total control of our destiny (who wins the game and who loses). As Thomas Huxley so eloquently put it in his famous quote above ("the player on the other side is hidden)."

More interesting stuff at:


What value to your life has chess provided?

What are your beliefs about chess and the meaning of life?

Please comment.

Mike Griffin 09/30/2008

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