While playing the game of chess, you’re probably full of anxiety while watching your opponent’s every move. You realize that the object of this inquisitive game is not only to come up with strategies, but ultimately to checkmate your opponent’s King.
Have you ever gotten lost in your own world of thinking during a game of chess and simply forgot that your opponent is thinking too? This can easily happen since our brains are tempted to only think in one direction during the game – and that direction is to win.
Comparing Chess to Football
Although football is a physical sport and chess is a “mental” sport, the two can be easily compared when it comes to strategies.
Take your mind off chess and think for a moment of the football player who’s running down the field for a possible touchdown. He’s almost there, and his adrenaline is pumping! The only problem is that he’s so excited about getting the touchdown that he pays no attention to what’s going on around him, although his coach told him to pay attention over and over during practice.
He doesn’t realize that his defense has been taken down on every side, and his enemy (opponent) is coming in for the strike! Only a moment before he reaches the line, he’s caught and brought down low. He realizes then, and only then, that he let his guard down because of the anxiety of winning, and ended up the loser.
This very common occurrence can easily be compared to a game of chess. Why? Because while thinking of ways to get to your opponent’s King, you can quickly forget that you have a king also – and your opponent wants him.
How to Engage Your Mind to Think About Your Chess Offense as well as Defense
Offense and defense are very much alive and well in the game of chess as they are on the football field, or any other game of strategy. Each player must be ready for every move by himself and his opponent. Surprises are not good for the one being surprised.
Why You Should Give Considerable Thought to Every Chess Move
Your King needs to be guarded at all times. Every chess move you make will determine two things:
1. Whether or not your chess opponent can move closer to your King.
2. Whether or not your chess opponent can kill your guards around the King.
Paying very close attention to these two factors during every move can greatly improve your chess game (while also protecting your King).
Even though your mind is filled with the anxiety of winning, each move you make should be carefully thought through beforehand. Never be hasty, even if you feel your move is a great one. While thinking upon your move, also think about how your chess move will affect the next move of your opponent towards your own King or his guards.
If your chess move will get you a step closer to a checkmate, but will also open the door for your opponent to do the same towards your King, you might want to reconsider.
Some Quick Chess Tips to Protect Your King:
1. Early in the chess game, build a guard around your King with pawns. Keep the King surrounded by his “bodyguards” for as long as possible – until the end if necessary.
2. Develop a chess strategy which will force your opponent to move his King’s guards. This will increase your opportunities to get to his King.
3. Create a diversion elsewhere on the chess board when you want to draw your opponent’s attention away from your King or his own for a while.
4. Never move your King’s guards unless you’re absolutely forced to do so by your chess opponent.
5. Between every chess move and while your opponent moves, think of ways to protect your King further while also advancing towards your opponent’s King.
Keeping these things in mind will help you to stay focused on the big picture, even if you feel that a “win” is in the bag! You don’t want any surprises while playing chess. Make sure your strategy always includes a plan to protect your own King. By Candice Pardue.