As we marked the world international chess day on the 20th of June, I couldn’t help but think about chess and it’s many benefits. Leave alone the textbook benefits that everyone spews when asked .Chess is a connecting factor . People from all around the world meet to enjoy a game of chess without a care of their opponents background, race or tribal affiliations. It’s as if when these two opponents settle down, a board between them, the world and its distractions are cancelled out and a new realm is created. Wars are forgotten, hunger, poverty and even pain .
Chess is money. Many people have gotten financially stable from chess. Players pay an entrance fee in a tournament and their efforts are rewarded in the form of cash prizes, medals or trophies ,later on. Organisers also get some money from the whole chess affair, they invest in a tournament and at the end of it all, they are able to get some money.
Chess is a livelihood. If you have noted the rise of arbiters in the country or in the world , then you might have wondered what’s the craze all about. Arbiters spend most of their time in a tournament walking in the playing hall, getting results from players and overseeing disputes between opponents. But then, what’s so flattering about that job? Money.That’s without talking about the love for the game.With tournaments taking place every weekend, doesn’t that sound like a form of livelihood? Training is also a form of livelihood for others .
Chess is freedom. Freedom of what? Chess is the freedom to be who you want to be. Chess is a driving force that instills confidence and boosts self esteem. Shy kids have been transformed through chess. They get more confident and strive to be better everyday. In chess, one replicates old players games, adds a new feel to them and comes up with a winning game. That, is confidence . The ability to follow your gut in a game even if the textbooks say different.
Chess is a road to adventure. The many tournaments held all over the country and in the world, serve as a form of adventure. One not only gets to play ,for example, in certain GM’s (Grandmaster) hometowns, historical chess countries, among many others ,but also explore new places and learn new things.
Chess is a passion and love. Some of the world’s best players talk of learning chess from their parents and their curiosity in the game, grew from that. You’ll find some of the current greats after a tournament, teaching their young kids the game, and if that’s not a show of the passion and love they hold for chess, then l don’t know what is?