Wednesday, October 5, 2011

‘Unpredictable’ is the most dangerous word! : a life lesson in chess

Back when I was in school and lived with my mom-dad, i used to play a lot of chess. The best one’s were with my dad because to me he was THE best player in the whole wide world, I guess still is, he taught me how to play and beat me to it EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you haven’t played chess, well that says a lot about you. And if like me you call the pieces something else in your language, well click here for the ENGLISH guide


He would be back from office and I would be ready with the chess board, partially to skip the studying for the night, boasting about the new move that I have learned and I can take his queen within minutes and subsequently the game. I firmly believed that the winning-loosing equation tilts heavily in favor of a player if he can take opponents queen.

One-day things changed and HOW?

That was Friday I guess, don’t remember but dad was happy and I was waiting for him with the chess board.

Dad - “you will loose again. Go learn new moves and then we will play,” he was laughing

Me- “I have learnt new move in times of India, some grandmaster wrote it, your queen is gone in minutes” I felt bad being toyed with like that

Dad- “you know chess is much more than just about the queen, even a knight can make your king sweat, it is unpredictable which the queen can never be”

Me – “ya raaite! Nothing beats the queen”

Game began; I was trying to get that move right and was completely ignorant of my other pieces. As the rule in chess goes ‘if you cant see two steps ahead, you have lost the game already’, he took my knight and bishop but I managed to save my queen by sacrificing some pawns, I needed to set that string of chances where the move could be useful.

Dad – “are you sure that guy was a grandmaster because I don’t see a difference in your play at all”

Me- “keep playing, we will see who wins”

Dad- “you know why knight is more powerful than the queen?”

I had no idea he had planned the move already, and had all my important pieces covered so I was confident.

Dad- …”and if you see to it, no matter how much you look, their will always be 1 direction where you will miss its reach and there you loose your piece”

Me – “its really not that important, it can jump and 2 and half boxes,thats no big deal, there are only 4 at a given time”

I was getting defensive and could sense the defeat, but I had my queen with me so a little hopeful

Dad suddenly picked up the knight and I held my breath.

Dad- “here you missed this jump, check-mate!”

'DAMN!' i went but He was speaking continuously.things were going dramatic

“think of it as a lesson in chess and life, unpredictability is any day better than strength, ”

I couldn't say anything, I smiled

have you learned a life lesson while playing chess, do share



  1. Yay! You are back ! And you are back with a bang!

    Loved your dad's teaching.Its such a true nugget.I don't have any such chess lessons as of now.But your post has made me think maybe i overlooked something!


  2. thank you thank you, had not written for so long it started to feel bad, so today i broke the jinx, lets see if the momentum continues.thanks for reading :)

  3. I played chess..when I was small..mostly with my brother...but I was beaten every time. I did not have the patience...

    But, still, I like this lesson of being unpredictable. Unpredictability + that is a lethal combo.. :)

  4. I too am addicted of playing Chess and yes it's important advise from your dad unpredictability is more important then strength. This is the reason Guerrilla warfare has defeated many mighty armies of the world, like LTTE brought sweats to Indian Army in Sri Lanka. Vietnam defeated U.S, Taliban repelled Russia and how can we forget Kautilya who first compelled Alexander recede and then defeated Nanda Empire and installed Chandragupta as king of Magadh.

  5. i love chess too. played a lot earlier. now its been years & years since i touched the board. your post made me miss it so much once again.
    my fav is the horse (knight ??). i discovered its power pretty late & when i did , i was hooked.

  6. @kunal hell yeah, the rey mysterio kind of trick (wwe) thanks for reading
    @bhavin oh yes guess that was the point my dad was trying to make in a more dramatic way ;) but agree with you, unpredictability pawns every other battle technique, thanks for reading
    @sujatha me too havent played in such a long time, overheard two ppl talking about it in metro so thot of the post and yes HORSE= KNIGHT. i tried to go the conventional way.thanks for reading

  7. Life lessons...khel khel mein.

    Lovely post.

  8. thanks for reading, my dad is dramatic at times :)

  9. hihihihih! have you not heard, baap hamesha baap hota hai :P

    i do not play chess but this was an interesting read and your dad is a cool dad :D

    The Blunt Blog

  10. My life was simple. As a kid I played just Ludo :p

  11. Am a big fan of Chess. My grandfather taught me when I was a kid (on one of those electric chess sets) and I used to love playing the game with him. He always was a few steps ahead.

    He played everyday until he passed away last year. I can't word any of the lessons I learned, but he taught me many over the years :)

  12. @ yep i might have heard something like during a sunny paaji apocalypse ;) thanks for reading
    @purba actually most of the time i used to get 3 sixes while rolling dice and would throw the board in anger so switched to chess
    @dazeddiva...actually i was travelling when i saw two ppl talk about knight in chess whihc triggered the story.i was myself surprised that i remember after so long

  13. Good to see you back... though am a little late in reading this post.
    Your dad's teachings are bang on... great to have been reminded of this lesson through your post.

  14. @jojofeelings finally some1 noticed i ve been missing.good to know.dont forget like dad, like son ;) thanks for reading




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