Tag: chess

Chess reinforces critical thinking

Chess reinforces critical thinking

I have been playing chess since 1972, I love it and I still play it.

Chess is such a fascinating game with endless possibilities. You can play it anywhere, and create new ideas in the opening. It causes me to think and think ahead, it is never boring, and always a test of just me and my opponent. Sometimes I play it alone.

To me, chess is entertaining and it has a neat history in its 1,500 years of being around. Over the years of playing the game, I have discovered that chess is a deeper sport and pastime than I ever thought possible.

I like chess because you can play it at any time, day or night, including on the Internet. I always enjoy playing chess with my ten-year-old son, Mwika. The boy never gives up no matter how many times he loses.

I like the unusual openings in chess, it is a game of skill and not luck. And except for the highest levels of chess, you don’t need a good memory. Chess is based on pattern recognition, experience and intuition.

Chess is in certain ways more than just a game. Chess builds critical thinking and prediction skills; you can apply those skills to socialisation and daily life. You can learn about yourself and how you handle adversity, how to think in long term goals, or when to switch into immediate mode based on what is happening in a game.

There is a beauty to the game and symmetry that other games lack. With chess, it is possible for anyone to play anyone else and still win regardless of the fact that someone might have more experience than you do or have a better understanding of the game. So long as you play good, solid moves, you always have a chance to win regardless.

I cannot say that about other things in life. Everyone is equal when the match starts and only by making good choices while avoiding the pitfalls can the match be decided; it is not decided simply because someone has better physical gifts than you do.

Fred M’membe

In the photo: Comrades Kyle Haselsteiner (the Deputy General Secretary of the Socialist Youth League) and Dr Fred M’membe playing chess.