Lessons from Chess

17 Feb

The game of chess teaches us
not to corner ourselves
behind pawns or immovable pieces.
Therefore, it takes a cool head,
a cigar-smoking Spassky,
a Kasparov,
or a Magnus,
who is willing to take a chance
to move beyond themselves.
Johnny-one-notes who think
they can always get away with
some rendition of the fool’s-mate
only ever trap themselves
in a real game.
On the other hand, those play-by-the-book types
will be trounced on occasion
by the 8-move mate
or forced to resign
by the Polish opening.
The unconventional will sometimes surprise
the over-conventional.
The smart alecks who try
to get away with being constantly outre
will never amount to being
more than wackos.
Like any game, boundaries demand respect,
and yet, they are there
for the breaking.
Flouting the rules never made a good player.
However, lockstep adherence
to agreed-upon patterns
makes any game a bore.
Computers are boring,
and so are one-trick-ponies.


Limericist 2008/2021

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Posted by on February 17, 2021 in Essays, Poetry



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