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Founder & Managing Member, Applicate LLC

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Everything I need to know to be successful in the game of life I learned from the game of chess.

This idea and resulting conversation are perhaps best explained by enumeration of generic chess playing principals, such as -

- There is a readily discernable cause and effect for everything (i.e. for every move I make)
- I have only so much time to make decisions and there are consequences to moving too quickly or too slowly
- Documented, transparent moves speak for themselves and no excuses are relevant (you cannot deny or debate the facts/moves which speak for themselves)
- The strongest force or approach is not necessarily the most desirable in all situations
- Positioning is everything and positions change constantly
- All action typically emanates from and is connected to the center
- Once the move/decision is made its difficult if not impossible to take it back
- The first mistake made, haven shaken the player, often results in another
- Winning is not a matter of having the most material things (more pieces)
- Sometimes the threat itself is actually stronger than its full execution
- Failure/defeat is often quite apparent if not inevitable before the very end
- Even a little, casual ill timed or ill advised mistake can undue vast preparations and seemingly invincible positions
- There is often a better alternative to the first impression, considering all alternatives
- Intuition is quite useful and essential but probably develops from principles and experience
- Preparation and homework usually pay off, all other things being equal
- A sound mind and game plan usually exist and propel from within a sound body
- Sometimes the best outcome is a draw, with both sides having made concessions and hoping for more the next time
- And the corollary: It's no fun to win all the time ...

Experienced and beginning players will have their own favorites to modify or add to this list; please feel free to send yours along or to contest those offered.


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  • Oct 4 2011: Thanks, appreciate your reflecting upon it; not really meant to be a rule set for everyone's life, just (my) reflection upon the logic, lessons learned and game theory of a longstanding and universally played, cross-cultural game.
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      Oct 4 2011: Louis- Did you play the Space Coast Open? I played a few years ago. That was actually my last tournament for awhile. It seemed like in the A and open sections the competition was going to require alot more time and study-than I had to give. Now I direct a chess club here as well its alot of fun. I look forward to when I have more time get back into it.
      • Oct 4 2011: I played in one Space Coast Open Jacob, but it was many years (10+) ago; I also support chess in Tampa Bay, including a mini-grant program for K-12 teachers to allow them to star very basic chess clubs in the public schools.

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