Chess around the world

Chess and Startegies for Life and Battle

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I grew up in a family of chess players. Nope, not those who make it to the news by winning international chess competitions, just your everyday normal chess player. Needless to say, chess was one of the earliest board games I learned to play. At an early age, I was exposed to pawns, knights, bishops, checkmates, queens and even sacrifices. I used to wonder why the king, albeit being the most important piece in chess, also seemed to be the weakest. I mean, he moves one box at a time and relies on other pieces to save his life. I was also amazed at how flexible a queen's moves were. She has the capability to move like a rook or a bishop. As a female, I felt empowered with this thought on how chess portrayed women: strong, flexible and powerful. Of course, as a young and casual player, I didn't care so much about game strategies, no chess clocks either. It was just a game I could enjoy with the family. As I grew up and learned some game strategies (the three-moves checkmate being the most exciting at that time), I have also come to realize how chess was more than a game: it was a life and battle strategy. Albeit being a powerful piece, the queen is always sacrificed, if doing so would provide the king with a better leverage. The pawns, these one-point pieces symbolizing nameless soldiers in war, only serve as baits or sacrifices most of the time, nothing more. As the name signifies, they are but pawns anyway. The king's life however, no matter how limited his movements are and no matter how weak he seemingly is, needs to be protected, even if it means sacrificing any other piece. Looking back, I realized that at such an early age, I was taught how it is in battle. I also learned how to diverge attention, come up with surprise attacks, sacrifice for the ""better good"", use my resources effectively and come up with the most realistic strategy by not merely playing the board but also by understanding the person manipulating these pieces.

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