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  • Writer's pictureThe 4th Dot

Updated: Jul 16

Do I harass my opponent's Queen, or do I develop my position?

Time Can Be Everything

Tempo is a crucial element in competitive chess play. Some people talk about the speed of the game like it is an art form. Because it is. Clocks have become a staple for real serious players. You can walk into a tournament setting and everyone is usually carrying a bag/box with a clock, mat, and pieces. Gear is required. Don't be a noob.


120-minute games have become the widely accepted tournament format. These games last up to 40 moves, which sounds like very few moves, but when each move is life or death, they deserve every minute of contemplation. If you run out of time, you lose! Sounds like life right? Pushing your moves quickly whilst forcing your opponent to run out of time is a strategy that many people use. You could be losing the game, be down a couple of pieces, be moves away from checkmate, but if their clock runs out, you win.


Blitz has become a fun way for people to really slap each other around. People will play speed chess with 30-second games, 1-minute games, 2-minute games. It actually doesn't matter what amount of time you are playing for, the fact that you are giving your time to higher thinking is a good choice altogether.

TV Shows & Movies Love Chess

Queen always takes her own color when you set up the pieces on the board. Who knew that chess was a feminist game!? The most powerful piece on the board is a woman. The Netflix original series Queens Gambit has become a favorite by chess players and muggle-born alike. With sharp


glances and subtle humor, Anya Taylor has captivated us and put her show and this sport on the map. Chess today is bigger now because of a TV show than when Bobby Fischer beat Spaskey back in the day. Look it up.


Magnus Carlson (World Champion in real life) loved that the series didn't focus too heavily on gender but rather focused on the brilliance of the players sitting in front of the boards. Ironically for a show called Queens Gambit, Beth Harmon only plays the QB scenario in the last match against her Russian counterpart.


The TV show did not hold back in the process of research and authenticity to the chess world. The writer hired former chess grandmasters to help generate new situations and puzzles. This only delighted true chess players and legitimized the world that the show created. Historically, women have been separated during tournament play and were criticized for not having enough mental fortitude. Beth Harmon experienced this sexist bias and the series showed a great light on these past, present, and probably future realities.

Metaphors & Chess Go Hand In Hand

I'll double up someone's pawns all day!


Chess is full and inundated with fantastic metaphors for life. When you don't know what to do with your life, perhaps sitting down and playing a game can help clear your mind. The game is all about steps, processes, and THINKING AHEAD. I am pretty certain that a majority of us should be thinking farther ahead and could learn a thing or two from the processes of chess.


Tit for Tat. Sometimes, you have to exchange pieces. Like life, there is a give and take. Sometimes there are trade-offs with a job or a relationship. Sometimes you need to sacrifice something important to yourself to get ahead or even win.


Some things aren't wrong but also aren't right. Sometimes just making a move is all you need to do. Pushing a pawn forward is better than letting the clock run out. The game of chess, depending on how it is being played, is a great lesson for putting things into motion despite hesitancy.

Online Chess Community Is Growing

Just in case you didn't know, chess is played online by thousands of people. But why would I play online chess when there are more exciting video games out there? Historically chess has been around for a long time and will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Thus, adapt or die.


Co Chess is a great platform where you can Chat - Video- Customize how you play. People use it as a remote coaching service to teach others. There are options to create scenarios and situations. People are addicted to puzzles and chess has hundreds of thousands of them.


Fantastically, the chess community has created an incredible rating system that is crucial for competitive culture. They can use game engines now that can analyze your faults in play and make suggestions. All of this computer tech is being utilized and is only fostering the fascination of youth around the world.


Now, you can even stream chess live. People are doing live games and sessions on Twitch daily and the YouTube community is only growing. This is not just a game but has become a choice for entertainment with flourishing personalities.

Chess Parents are a Real Thing

~Beauty Pageant Parents

~Instrument Parents

~Sports Parents

~and yes, Chess Parents


You go to the local baseball field or basketball court and there are always overly enthusiastic moms and dads. They get angry at coaches, pissed at refs, and yell at their children when they get in the car and drive home after a bad loss. Well, there is nothing different about chess parents. Though they are a different type, usually helicopters, and they focus more on the books, studying, and playing out scenarios.


Over the years, parents will put their talented kids on TV with famous hosts to do interviews. Something is fascinating about taking an 8-year-old 'prodigy' chess child and forcing them to play a 55-year-old grandmaster. All the while, chess parents are biting their nails backstage. There usually aren't huge cheers or celebrations. These tournaments usually end with quiet victory and silent defeat.


Endless Possibilties

The Shannon # is a branching function 35 to the 80th power. 10 to 123rd power.


There are fewer stars in the sky compared to the amount of different 40 Move Chess Game Possibilities. Variability is exponentially increased with every move made. The options and positions on a chessboard skyrocket to uncountable numbers. Even when you eliminate the nonsense and bad idea options, the game variance is exhaustingly unfathomable.



The most center 4 Squares on the board are like the High Ground on a battlefield. Controlling the center of the map can be essential for winning.


Never underestimate the power of a pawn. They are moving barriers that increase in strength when connected. Think of these one-point pieces as the EXOSKELETON on the fray.

Paul Murphy an American player used to play multiple people Blind during the civil war! Imagine being in the middle of a war and simulating one on a checkered board for fun.

If you made it this far... MERP DERP!

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