The Queen Says Part 3 : You either win or learn

The Queen Says
Part 3 : You either win or learn

In the classic animation, Tom cat and Jerry mouse , Tom usually goes through a series of faults and failures all the while trying to out-maneuver Jerry. This animation more or less mirrors the two adversaries over a chess board and the tactics they apply to win the game. What differentiates chess from Tom and Jerry, is merely foresight. The knowledge that an attack is imminent and one must counter-attack and the knowledge that each one is going through the same motion of play and there is always a way to tweak the game to one’s favor.
So, as the player with the Black pieces dropped his queen on a different square, l knew all was not lost. Yes, he might have lost the game but there is still hope. Josè Raul Capablanca, one of the greatest chess world champions of all time said: ” You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” True to these words, after the game comes to an end and both players hand over their recording sheets to the arbiter, the crowd moves in and disrupts the bubble that had been created as they go through different instances each could have played better in the just concluded match.
Though frustrated, the player with Black, listens to his friends telling him of his missed chances and what he could have done better. I know I wouldn’t want someone to keep rubbing my face in the failure but then how else is he to learn? They say, you either win or you learn. So, l attentively listen to the on-lookers as they narrate the game and what could have been a win, had the player with Black done something else. The conqueror stands aside, smiling, l would have expected her to gloat and boast but thanks to chess and the discipline it instills she does not. She sheepishly admits that at some point in the game, she had lost hope and was close to resigning. The camaraderie in which the two adversaries, over the board, interact with after the game is so civil and it gets me wondering how these smiling faces turn so serious in a game.

Compiled by Joan Wangari

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