Have you seen a better chess game?

I had to post this. How about this, eh? Thrilling. I took almost all the opponent’s pieces at a loss of a pawn and a bishop.

I’ve been playing chess (the blitz games) on lichess  (awsome app, no ads) for many years now. I am not a trained player. I do not study games. I do not think about it. And hence my rating is what it is. But there are life lessons I take from it everyday.

There are many times where I’ve won from hopeless situations. Sometimes it’s fortune, other times it’s a move I wouldn’t have known I had if I had quit, most times it’s just (stubborn) grit – to finish what I started. Perseverance is probably a better word but I prefer grit. It wears more sweat and salt.

Of the three, fortune, skill and grit, grit is also really the only trait we can control. And my experiments with chess keep reminding me of the maxim we all know but need constant reminding: that the harder I practice, the luckier I get.

And by extension, the more I know, the more luck I have.

To quit robs away the chance of a come back, of the valuable lessons to take to the next game. Because there is always a next game. To truly appreciate grit and it’s power to unfold incredible “luck”, one has to play.

My own incredible chess game is a great example of this. Despite my thrill at decimating my opponent, s/he did not give up, played time instead to eventually win.

The other thing about grit is that often times a loss does not feel like one. My own personal experience of spending hours on reports that do not see light validates this – with my skills just a bit more enhanced.

Angela Duckworth does an infinitely better job at inspiring us on this topic – more scientifically than my anecdotal experiences. And you could also read these lovely quotes to begin a wonderfully productive weekend.

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