Lessons Learned From Chess

I wouldn’t say that I’m an avid Chess player or even a good one, but I do enjoy the occasional game.  As such, a few of the guys that I converse with on Twitter have created a Chess club of sorts where we challenge each other to battles of wits and tactics.  One particular game that I played against Hunter Drew at The Family Alpha stands out as one of my greatest victories, not necessarily because of any brilliant plays I made (I made quite a few blunders), but from the lessons I took away from that match.  These lessons translate nicely into the real world so I decided that today I would share them with you.

Check, Double-Check, Then Triple-Check

No pun intended, on this heading, but always be sure to check the variables before making a move, whether it be on the chessboard or in real life.  There were a couple instances where I thought I had Hunter dead to rights, but missed some small variable that wound up backfiring on my spectacularly.
chess 2
I was so close to having him boxed in here but failed to realize my e5 pawn wasn’t guarded when I moved it to e6.
One such instance was where I thought I had him checkmated in two turns with him having no recourse but to move his king to the edge of the cliff before I pushed him off.  What I had overlooked was the fact I left one of my checking pieces unguarded, which Hunter’s king was able to steal, foiling my plans and leaving me in a dangerous position.
The same translates over to real life situations.  Before taking any risky move, check, double-check, then triple-check your math and make sure everything lines up.

Don’t Place Your Enemy on Desperate Ground

The term “Desperate Ground” comes from Sun Tzu’s Art of War and refers to what amounts to sticking your opponent between a rock and a hard place.  If your opponent sees that their loss is imminent, they will fight with every ounce of strength at their disposal.
About halfway through our game, Hunter put me on Desperate Ground by marshaling his forces to flank my king.  I was literally two moves from being checkmated and had no way out for my king that wouldn’t involve sacrificing many of my key pieces.  Being in this desperate position where my loss was two mere clicks away, I knew I had to go on the offensive with everything I had.
A little desperation in real life is good as well.  It drives you to new levels of effort and achievement.  Some people within the manosphere have even purposely put themselves on Desperate Ground in order to put themselves in a position of either sinking or swimming.  One such example, Victor Pride if memory serves, quit his job and moved out of the country in order to pursue his own business.  Every day became a matter of survival – utilizing every resource available to him to ensure that he didn’t drown.

Use Gambits to Distract While Setting Up a Counteroffensive

Once I knew that my loss was seconds away, I knew that the only way I would have a chance of getting back in the match would be by keeping Hunter on the defensive, reacting to my moves without an opportunity to flipping the script.  Turn after turn, I put his own king in check, sacrificing whatever pieces I needed in order to extend my survival until I could turn the game around.  Finally, I had created an escape route for my king and could go on the offensive in earnest.
Using gambits in real life is not for the faint of heart.  They require a fair bit of nerve and the understanding that you could very well be digging yourself deeper into your hole.  If you are on Desperate Ground however, this point is moot as failure means your downfall anyways.

It Isn’t Over Until It’s Over

 At one point of the game, I was 9 points behind and in a bad position.  I was very tempted to just concede the match and admit my defeat, but I decided to move on.  I was way behind on pieces, a few moves from losing, and no obvious plan on how to get out.
chess 1
Outgunned and outflanked.  I was on Desperate Ground with seconds to live.
In the end, it came down to a slugfest where I was able to capitalize on a few blunders from Hunter and even up the game.  It came down to a battle of attrition and when I saw the opening I needed, I finally closed the match.
chess 3.png
The final nail in the coffin.  The game was a move away from turning to his favor.
The old saying “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s size of the fight in the dog” comes to mind.  Sometimes when finesse and wit can’t win you the day, you must resort to sheer tenacity and determination.
Sometimes things in life seem incredibly tough and there’s no way easy route to circumnavigate the obstacle.  When those times come to you and you can’t finesse your way out, knuckle down and fight your way through.  Many times things seem their hardest right before they relent and you break through and seize victory.


I’m a big believer in taking lessons from whatever activity you’re engaged in.  There’s always something to learn, some information to glean.  Be sure to take moments throughout your day to reflect on situations you encounter and see what small truths are hidden just below surface.

They say there’s a 1,000 lessons in defeat, but the same can be true in victory if one remains humble and open-minded.  Hunter taught me quite a few the other day.

Hunter, it’s always a pleasure to match wits against you.  Until next time, brother.

Author: Jak

Jak, married and father of three, seeks to help the Red-Pill Community take its next step past the petty cynicism and ineffectual anger. While he recognizes that men are significantly handicapped by the modern legal system and culture, he doesn't accept that traditional marriage is untenable in today's social climate. Rather, men must be willing to adapt to this new world by implementing new tactics and approaches to maintaining a balance of power. Jak is here to provide you with these lessons.