When I sit down to play a game of chess, I have to think about my game plan beforehand. Similarities between chess and life are very apparent, and require the same strategies; with both, I feel that you have to tread carefully- one wrong move can result in severe consequences. Life and chess both require you to plan and set goals in every aspect. I think the discipline that came with having a career as a chess player, in turn, made me think before I leapt at every turn. It’s funny how a round of chess can seem parallel to life- you have to be patient, strategic and think hard before every move. Consequently, because of chess, I think long and hard before making any decision. It has also helped me face my demons, and learn from my losses. As with life comes a balance of joy and sorrow, similarly, every game brings forth victory and defeat. If you cannot accept defeat sportingly, you cannot learn from your mistakes and improve yourself. Not being able to accept your losses graciously will only affect your performance, and act as a barrier in the way of being a better player. When it comes to aspiring players of today, I want them to know that there is no barrier that cannot be overcome. Resilience, sincerity and hard work is the key to not just being a chess grandmaster but with everything else you achieve in life.
I personally started playing at such an unconventional age, that people didn’t really take a woman playing chess seriously, but I was able to prove them wrong. So at the end of the day- determination, hard work and patience pays off, trust me.
In this day and age, show me one field in which women are behind men. And more so, times have changed; women are now a force to be reckoned with. From sports to finance to politics, women are succeeding everywhere. Those who think that women aren’t capable of being analytical and strategic are clearly turning a blind eye to everything that they’re accomplishing.
In the chess world which is male-dominated, we always refer to the funny anecdote of a male player losing to Maia Chiburdanidze, the Georgian grandmaster. He said, “You may have won this round against me, but you’re ranked below a hundred other men.”
To which Maia replied, “While that’s true, I’m also ranked above 10,000 others.”