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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: This conversation title is a play on Robert Fulghum's book entitled, "Everything I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"

    Take a look at the rules:

    http://www.peace.ca/kindergarten.htm

    I continually go back to that book whenever I fee I need to "reset". I propose that even deep thinkers would have to agree that Fulghum's advice to living is more helpful to humans than any game of chess could ever be.

    By the way, chess is a win/lose game.I would be miserable if I lived my life with that mindset.
    • Oct 4 2011: The "everything I needed to know" hyperbole actually precedes us all, including Fulghum ...

      Not sure what game you're referring to, but standard (Western) chess allows for win, loss or draw outcomes; a well played game, between equal players, will frequently result in a draw ...

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