Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Tao of Chess

Playing chess has taught me many lessons. There are no takebacks. When you have made your move and hit the clock, you can't change it and take back the piece even if it is a bloody free queen, and you're screaming and frothing inside your head. Hmmm, actually not so, when I was little I would scream bloody murder whenever my bro ate my piece and I'd insist on a takeback with tears and entreatments and finally fistfights. Heh heh. But hey, he did the same to me too. :p *unrepentent*

I digress. No takebacks so learn to live with it. It may have been a bad move, which leads to ruin and chaos and deaths; there may be a better move, and you beat yourself blue black for not seeing it, or it's just not the perfect move and you keep wondering about the whatifs. But at the end of it all, so what? You can't turn back a single second, you can't ctrl-alt-del, so what's left, but to move ahead. Put your heart in it and do your best. Perhaps you can resign with dignity (oohh .. I love this phrase: resign with dignity :P)and start a new game, or perhaps there will be another chance to make amends when your opponent gets overconfident. Whatever happens, despair is pointless. It's just a game afterall, isn't it? Satisfaction comes in playing one in which you can hold your head up afterwards, and not end in bashing the board over the opponent's head, or showing your cats' claws or even losing sleep over it. heh. Winning is just a bonus.

Isn't life just like that? Life is, aferall, like a game of chess too. You can't take back the choices you have made or what has happened. You can only shoulder on, one step at a time, doing your best out of it. Perhaps it might get better, perhaps not ... but at the end of the journey, you would want to live a life where you can hold your head up and be happy. After all, it's your life, it's your game. The satisfaction of how you live your life comes from yourself.

Hmmm. Hence said, I think I still like winning at my chess games. :P And I like to win with the least amount of effort. heh heh heh *bleah* But winning too easily has no challenge, and losing too badly to good players can be so demoralising. Ahhh what a contradiction. Verdict: playing chess is simply too tough! Ohh, my head. itai itai!

I enjoy playing all kinds of chess, but I love international chess best. Let's see. Chinese Chess can be too restrictive. But they say there's a beauty in the strategy of playing restrictively. I could never get the hang of it, and I'll end up under-defending my pieces, like I can't give the horse too much work, for it is easily blocked and become useless, unlike Ichess where the knight is really one in shining armour. :P Okie okie, so I always end up losing in Cchess, unless opponent is really an idiot. heh. For weiqi or go, I can never really find the patience to sit through the whole game and play seriously. Good grief! My hair will turn white and I'll get arthritis in my fingers first. *rolls eyes* So Ichess has always been my favourite, and is especially so, because I always beat my bro at it when we were little (with and without cheating). heh heh. Hey, I can't win them at Nintendo what. :P

I like to play othello, and I found there's a way to beat the computer on my palm and you can really turn all the pieces yours except for maybe a few. I think my best score was computer only left with 3 of its colour. But it's not easy to play with a human who thinks the same as you, and lay traps to make you play moves such that they'll get the sides and corners. I can't trick hubby so easily. :P So ... let's just say it's not that fun afterall. *sticks tongue out*

Then there's checkers, which is also rather fun, but we hardly play that nowadays. That one also has a trick to it, and unsuspecting players may fall for it if they are unaware. But when they realise what you are trying to do, it's not that easy to fall for the tricks. Ichess is still more challenging and complicated, and that's where it is also fun. :)

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