I want to talk about something that may sound a little weird for a second. Especially to non-chess players. Does anyone else besides me “play chess with life”? I am not the person who coined the term; a friend of mine did. I’ll tell you the setup. I came out of college, joined an aspiring startup I thought looked good. Everyone in the place was in a relationship except me. Now, I didn’t know this, but apparently behind my back there were a lot of weird rumors going around — you know, relatively good looking guy, pretty smart, fairly nice guy — what’s the deal? Apparently the first rumor was that I was banging the receptionist in the copy room. Hehehe. No. There were a few others tossed around, then they arrived at “He’s gay”. *sigh* But then my friend AJ stepped in and said, “No….no…he’s not. I think I know what it is. He’s always talking about chess — he plays chess with life.”
What does that mean? If you don’t play chess, you won’t really understand, but the basic concept is thinking ahead. Anticipating and evaluating the possibilities and outcomes. Also, trying to see the board from your opponent’s point of view. But if you don’t love chess, you don’t know exactly what it feels like.
Well, I know what it feels like. And it can be best summed up in a scene from “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows” (the second one). Without all the cool slo-mo graphics. Point is, when I meet a woman, I’m already calculating at least 10-20 moves ahead. Dating. Sex. Relationship. Moving in together. Marriage. Pressure to have a child when her biological clock starts ticking. I run as many visualizations of the situation as I can through my head, and try to see what the outcome can be given the information I have. Of course, I’m always absorbing new information, so I’m always re-evaluating. But men, you know there are precious few women you really want to spend any time at all with, really, apart from the sex.
And, of course, this is only an example of one way I play chess with life. I do it with everything. I only mention the above because it’s the story of the genesis of the phrase.
Right, Kip. Shut up and show them the movie.
(Note the chess board in the scene and that when Moriarty braces himself you can see a chess clock)