Thoughts on Life and Chess from the book: All the Wrong Moves

All the Wrong Moves

This was a fun book to read, as I am getting back into chess. You will enjoy this book if you find chess to be fun, addictive, or enticing.

Chess is a perfect information game…unlike Life

…the perfect information of chess means you can’t blame anything for your failure other than you. You had all the data required to make great moves. And then you did what you did, which is, in my case, usually not so great. That means you have to accept who you are, on the chessboard – you can’t blame chance or circumstance.

Pre-made plans change when challenged

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

–Mike Tyson

Some classic Chess sayings:

  • “Long variation, wrong variation” – The longer the variation is you work out in your head, the more likely of making a miscalculation. It is often better to play a good, simple, clean move
  • “When you see a good move, look for a better one.” –Emanuel Lasker
  • “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.” –Savielly Tartakower
  • “Loose pieces drop off” (LPDO) – A loose piece is one that’s sitting on the board without protection of another.

The secret to chess according to Ben Finegold

You have to play like you never want the game to end.

In life, and in chess, people make terrible decisions just because they are impatien. They want things to end, right now, on their terms. They just want a reckoning, whether or not it’s actually good. So they play f4, or they play Bxh7, and they just tear everything apart. But you don’t have to play that way. You can play for hundreds of moves, if you want to.