I saw this article in the ‘I’ newspaper by Jonathan Rowson, he is a Grand Master who lives in London now and has taught one or two of our juniors here in Bournemouth.

He talks about his life as a junior and how Chess has helped him develop a lifetime of skills.

This is an edited excerpt from “The moves that matter. A Chess Grand Master on the Game of Life’ by Jonathan Rowson:-

“Chess is not just one game amongst many like Scrabble or Monopoly – it simulates life because it is a ritual encounter with death and disguise, where we experience the responsibility to stay alive one move at a time.

No wonder that Chess has long served as a touchstone of choice for the competitive tension that defines business, sport and politics.

Unwitting characters in movies are regularly described, as ‘pawns’, political negotiations described as ‘stalemates’ and sporting commentators announce that the tennis or cricket match you’re watching is now a ‘chess game’.

The themes of planning ahead, knowing the opponent, anticipating responses and sacrificing for future gains, chess is something else too –  a gateway to the enigma of life.

In chess, you learn and improve by reviewing games you’ve lost, rather than the ones you’ve won. Aldous Huxley famously wrote that “experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you” otherwise, learn from your mistakes.

I have loved chess, as a child loves a guardian who keeps them safe, as a teenage boy loves a girl who represents love itself, as a young adult loves his newfound autonomy and his place in the community, as a student loves his teacher, as a friend loves his friend and as a father loves his child”.

 Eric Sachs

 17th June 2020

Categories: News