The game of chess is basically designed to expand the human mind to its outermost layer but not beyond.
Being a chess grand master and a successful entrepreneur, I intend to make my readers absorb the lessons I have learnt from playing chess and to lead any kind of business with fruitful outcomes just like me.
As I have implemented the chess strategies in building myself as a successful leader in the genre of business, I acknowledge the below fact:
Also Read :
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“Chess is not just a game, but like music and love, has the power of making humans happy”.
I am presenting my 15 leadership lessons in the language of chess, that is, using chess keywords.
1. Chess Board, The Leadership Play-field
The first stage of victory in the game of chess is the deep analysis of the chess board and the control over the squares. In terms of business, it is the planning activity that defines the degree of success.
There is a basic principle of playing chess. When any pawn or piece of your opponent trespasses the square on which you have control over, that piece/pawn is at the risk of being captured by you.
If you have control over more than half part of squares on the board, you have higher chances of winning the game. Maybe this statement is easily understood but it is difficult to put into action.
Just like chess, in business , you need to have control over a larger area of the territory than your competitors.
2. Knights on the Rim Prove Useless
There is something called the Mobility Principle. It states that the piece or pawn that has few squares to march further is of no use.
For example, knights on the sides of the board, do not have many squares to make a move. They are thus prone to be captured or to be of no productivity in the game.
Rooks stuck on the corner of the board with fewer options to move and bishops surrounded by their own pawns are also those situations to be prohibited during the game.
In real life too, don’t get into any situation where you don’t have any options to overcome the problem.
Though you are confident about your predictions, it is always safe to have a backup plan for every possible situation. A backup plan helps to chase our dreams without any discouragement.
Just like many say…
Putting all eggs in one basket backfires when the basket gets broken.
3. Pieces Cooperate with Pawns on Every Square
A general principle related to the chess materials is that pieces and pawns should always complement each other.
Taking into consideration, the bishops and pawns…
Both of them has the capability of capturing diagonally. Hence placing both of them on opposite colour squares would pave the way for more space , and hence more captures. Even placing bishops and knights on the same colour of squares would prove better performance towards success.
Try hard to get the most out of your chess material at all times.. be it pawns or bishops or any other pieces.
This taught me the great lesson of framing a perfect team with the right candidate matching the right skill required for the right job. This helped me avoid duplication of effort as well.
4. Pour More into Action
One way to win the opponent is to wake up most of your pieces from the initial slumber and put them into action as early as possible.
Consider the rooks, for instance, they need open lines to be effective and to do their best, they must not be blocked by any of their friendly pieces.
This shows the importance of communication. Every member of the team knows what is going on in and around them. During the recession time when obstacles are in the way, it is always essential to continue communicating effectively so that the situation does not get worse.
Another quick guideline to work as an effective leader competing successfully with others is as follows:
The more pieces you put forth on your opponent, the more difficult it would be for him to resist.
For a successful team, we need to make new friends for lightening the burden on hand.
5. Get to the Center for More Power
The most vital winning strategy of the chess game is to place the pieces in the center whenever possible or at least force them to aim at the center position.
Vigorously working hard to control the squares at the center is one of the habits of a good player. Next thing is to keep your pieces secured at the center before performing an attack.
As a person struggling with success in leadership, you need to be prepared and everything you own should be at its best at all instances. That way, anything unusual happens, you are ready as usual.
When you are at the center, you have more paths to travel, more choices to choose and consequently more potential power. This will give huge rewards.
6. Keep the King Safe on Every Move
The king though not very powerful but the most vital piece on the board. Every piece can be captured except the king. Once the king is arrested by making it unable to escape, it is the checkmate and there ends the game as well.
For this reason, safeguarding the king is paramount. The idea of castling the king with a shield of pawns along the side of the board proves better safety for the king.
Apart from this, it is equally important to prevent the opponent from castling his king which would make it vulnerable to an early attack.
One important thing to remember…
Any worst scenarios, do not move those pawns that are shielding the castled king. Once any pawn is moved away from the castled king, it would build up higher probabilities of a checkmate.
The same happens in life as well. The king is your business. So protect your business from getting into any new adventure. The next most important lesson is not to fix anything which is not broken. It would just ultimately lead you to break it instead of fixing.
7. What to Retain, What to Give up – Think Wise
It is important to understand the relative value of each piece and pawn on board in various situations. In many situations, just three pawns would act superior to a knight. So losing those pawns would be a disaster.
You need to think wisely keeping in mind the value of each piece in the current situation. Then, brainstorm quickly and make an intelligent decision of which material to give up and which one to stay back.
It is always better to give up pieces rather than pawns. This would create a better ratio of winning the game. But of course, if you are short of pieces, there is no choice but to give the pawns.
Thus, keep yourself away from loss by getting rid of those things that could defeat you. Identifying those things would portray your intelligence.
8. Pawn Structure Predicts Future
Pawns have a peculiar weakness. They cannot move backwards or sideways. Hence, the pawn structure would give the clue for any possible plans in future.
And yes, every step the passed pawn takes will bring it closer to a huge increase in strength.
Isolated pawns should be protected by other pieces as it has no pawn to support it.
Mastering the art of pawn moves requires a lot of practice and cognitive knowledge. This is mainly due to the fact that the foundation of facing unexpected attacks and making planned defenses is the pawn structure that is employed.
Every pawn structure has its own spots of strength and weakness. To achieve success in chess, you need to analyse and clearly understand them before performing any tactical move.
Simply put, construct your actions to achieve your goal only when you are ready with a clearly definable goal in vision. Every decision you make has its strengths and weaknesses. You need to brainstorm accurately to find the right solution for the problem at the right time.
9. Tactical Move is the Major Weapon
Tactical move in chess generally involves a sequence of moves which are meant to force your opponent to make moves that are unfavorable for him. Your motive behind this could be anything may be a queen capture, a positional advantage or just for saving your army.
To program your moves accurately, you need both tactics and strategy for the most welcoming output at the endgame.
There are many tactical procedures in chess like the double attack, the discovered attack, pinning, interception, freeing, overloading, forcing a stalemate, decoying, intermediate move and much, much more.
Obviously, I would need another writing space for explaining all those. So, here I am just naming them to make you aware how many ways we can use tactics for winning.
The same applies to business as well. I always believe for any problem in hand, there is always 11 possible solutions a normal human can think of.
Furthermore, always have a clean attention towards the lighter part of the decision. Though it might not affect your decision now, it may build unexpected catastrophic repercussions.
However, too much of getting into less important detail and forgetting the big picture would lead you to bad consequences. So always remember to analyse the big picture too.
10. Superiority increases with Openness
Being smart and active is a vital characteristic in every game we play, let it be chess or even the game of life.
What does being active do under the lesson of openness?
Yeah.. there’s the catch here!
In chess, to be active is to keep on moving which actually requires sufficient space.
Tactical positions on the board are marked by mobility and openness providing the chances for either a checkmate or a worthy capture.
The more space you have on the board the stronger and superior your army become. Adding to this, a quick wash out of a larger territory thoroughly will bring huge rewards which cannot be achieved if the capture is too slow or too small.
In business, someone who is quick in action and who does more in less time shines the most and is, of course, a great asset to the business holding him as an employee. By the same token, accurate outcomes and better profitability depends on how fast and clear you and your team communicate the decisive material or any matter required for progressing further in the near future.
11. Right Sacrifice is an Investment
I have noticed a very common mistake among the freshers who come up to me for learning chess. Just after they are comfortable with the general rules of the game, their main motive of winning would be merely capturing the maximum pieces of the opponent and keep away from losing even a pawn that is blocking the way to win a tactical position.
It’ s shocking for my students or may be of course surprising the readers of this blog when I say “it is a winning advantage to do a right sacrifice”. The winning advantage could be gaining a better tactical position on the board, gaining a powerful piece of the opponent or maybe even a checkmate.
If you know that you are losing three pawns for getting the opponent’s queen, it is the opponent who is actually losing and you are investing more to win the game.
Leading a business requires the same psychology to compete in this fast striving world. Your business can do a sacrifice to achieve better returns. As a leader, you might be obliged to sacrifice negligible components for a heavy and healthy surprise.
12. Restrain, Blockade and Finally Destroy
As a chess grand-master, this long- range idea is what I call “strategy”. Tactical moves play a vital role in carrying out a strategy as being framed.
Maintaining the tension is another clever option. Hold the pressure until it is time to explode. If you break the tension earlier, you may lose the chance of making a great difference. This is what I refer as “Restrain”.
Next, on its way is the technique of just threatening without actually executing the threat. This would give rise to the opponent constantly worrying about the threat and also interfering with what he intends to do. Thus, you are actually blocking your opponent’s thinking process with the threat. This is the ‘Blockade’ course of action.
Eventually, the destroying step…
Destroying the pawn structure of the majority with the minimum pawns is always a neat option to step forward on the winning path.
The above three courses of action can also be entitled as the strategy for leading a business effectively.
13. Defense is wiser than Offense
This concept is self-explanatory. It is always better to be protected rather than to think of attacking the long-run.
Frequent and multiple unnecessary attacks will make your team tired. What you need is victory, for winning, you need stamina. So attack competitors only when needed, use the maximum energy to protect your business.
14. Cautiously Trade Pieces and Pawns
Trading is one of the most significant aspects of the chess strategy.
One example of showing the significance of trading is to exchange your passive pieces with your opponent’s active pieces. Such opportunities are very rare and not easily visible, you need to magnify your vision and find out the appropriate pieces to be exchanged at the necessary situation.
To avoid damage, it is essential to trade your opponent’s fighting piece.
In addition to that, if your pawn structure is stronger than your opponent’s, aim at trading your major pieces. This is because pawns are quite useful during tensed situations.
Dismissal of sluggish employees may be compensated by recruiting smart and creative people when needed. This exchange aspect is not limited to manpower. It can be of any liable assets of your business.
15. Play the Opening like a Book, Perform the Middle-game like a Magician, Work out the Ending like Machine
There are three segments of the chess game – opening, middle-game, and endgame. Each segment demands a different tactic. You ought to accurately identify the stage you are in before applying the appropriate tactic.
The right changeover from one phase to another determines how far or close you are towards winning the game.
The opening phase of the chess games has the major objective of developing the pieces and getting the king into a safe zone. Thus, this phase is referred as the theoretical heart of chess containing predetermined beginnings.
Next stage is the middle-game which is a favorable one for those who are capable of attacking ferociously and are dynamic in action. You need to show more of your creativity in this episode of the chess. This is the phase, most players get to know their end results.
Finally, end game …
Players need to be cautious and calculative in this stage. Tactics combined with strategy applied in this phase plays a major role in winning the entire game.
Having an ambition is usually a welcoming way of living. But being overambitious is little dangerous. So start with an ambition that is closer to your reach. Plan well. Be creative to execute the courses of action for achieving the goal.
When approaching the end, be cautious as more risks are prone to arrive during the last phase of achievement. Handle the risks with great care to make sure that you are always on track to reach your destiny.