It was summer in Nigeria, 2009, towards the early resumption of school in September. The beginning of each session was then embraced with milder class activities. We barely had teachers and our notes were more of what was taught in the formal class we were. I was allocated to one of the noisiest classrooms and to make them keep quiet, was to report them to the school principal.

My classroom is situated far from the other usual classrooms, maybe because it is the senior class. For a teacher to be around there means that it was for teaching or to give vital information. I would love to be in a serene environment, if not for any other thing, at least to read tons of novels my parents bought for me. There were as well, amazing classics I bought most times I meet one at bookstores, during my holidays. These were my greatest concern.

Having thought of it on many occasions, I decided to talk to my friend, Ben, who was more likely to feel distraught about the situation. I noticed that Ben shared the same concern, so also a few others. The fact that there is already a problem at hand, without a veritable solution, could make me become more angst. A two days after, Ben, resumed class in the morning with a board, a very simple brown slate, constructed in the form of little boxes.

I found an idea, Ben voiced in a broken English. I never mentioned, Ben preferred pidgin English and there is this carefulness he places on it, anytime he speaks. I am going to introduce you to a new game, Ben continued. Zero your minds from any other games you have known. I knew of “whot”, ” lido” and one other locally made game. I think, he wasn’t mentioning them, because they are too common, I growled.

Take a look at this board, Ben forced our eyes by beating the board, which was already relaxing on his laps – are you seeing the shaded boxes and the plain ones, he asked. We were like three boys, including me, who chorused unanimously, yes. Very well then. This game is a little different from what you may have known. It is very tasking and at the same time tactical. Before you play, think. Consider the risk you may be, if you play without first, blocking your enemies from invading your territory. Be mindful that one of the major instrument for this game is the reason. If you seldomly don’t reason at any given moment of your game, there is much possibility of you failing. So, if you must win, get ready to think and evaluate the movement you may want to take.

After a few prepping which was excitingly done by Ben,  one of us, who was listening to Ben very attentively, decided to commence the game with Ben, while some of us, watch how it works. Gradually, the game took a whole lot of our time and energy and at some point, influenced a good number of boys. The whole session was incredibly dedicated to chess. It was after some time, that it began to control the noisy class and slowly considerable number of boys, enrolled in Ben’s chess class.

I knew of three impressionable things the playing of chess impacted in me, they are:

i) To think deeply

Most of us think, obviously, but to think deeply is a new column of imagination. As much as I know, thinking has three layers and without the consideration of these, you may come up with little or nothing to boast of. To think is to have a picture of something. There should be an object that propels you into thinking. For a problem to get a solution, there should be an already existing issue, which will fascinate the mind to think. When the mind can conceive first the image, which is the primary focus, it justifies the act of thinking into feeling. By the way, for a picture to be in uniform importance, the mind should feel it. Feeling is the emotional connection of a thing, either through physical activity or perception. And the only way one can feel is when an object acts on the mind. When this is established, it opens the way for imagination, which is a simpler method of arriving at the answer, once the picture has made an impression. It is on this level, can one assemble multiple solutions or opinions to make lose a hedge before the person or a set of standard mounted before the person. It could be a little challenge on how to upgrade your competency in your profession or how to employ solutions to your marital fracas.

ii) To take a risk

A good number of us prefer to take a shield than to take a risk. Life, as the popular axiom goes, is full of risk and so, trying to avoid them will certainly not come by, because it is inevitable. The playing of chess prepared me into taking a big risk. Each moment of our life is often punctuated with uncertainty and the more the picture of our lives don’t appear brighter, the best thing is not to quit. What should rent our mind, should basically be on how to break the chain. No matter how difficult it may choose to be, it is better to involve yourself, than to pave way for the difficulty to overwhelm you. Once you give in without first, making an effort, it is the shortest means of communicating your weakness. Taking a risk means attempting every chance you meet in your life. Even when they fail, it is an added advantage to you, that you have leverage over the problem. Life should be given a chance to win or you lose, but not to try is very catastrophic and can place you at the mercy of your competitor. Prove yourself, by invading each province you encounter, you may be lucky, to find your gold, a level of fitful dominance.

iii) To be smart

Being smart is knowing the right answer to give at any point in time you are confronted with a complication. There are many intelligent people who are not smart, maybe because they often think that intelligence guarantees smartness. It is appropriate to liken smartness to being clever because when you are presumptive of an event, it is a position of accepting that there is always the possibility of things happening. Anyone who always lives with the attitude of poor imaginative prowess is considered not smart. Because to be smart is to dictate that there may be a looming danger and thus prepares you for the outcomes and how to make your defence. Smartness increases your level of diplomacy. At times, you experience certain messy cases that are asking for your opinions and if care is not taken, you may land into trouble if your responses or suggestions are not truly diplomatic. A smart person knows what to say, where to say it and when to say it. A smart person knows which information is right for any class of individual he or she meets. Smartness is the active function of your sense organs at any given time, without raising a conflicting report.

If at all your mind does not change, then you need to change your mind.

So far, I have benefited from the playing of chess, because it has immersed me into these three blueprints. And it is quite commendable to initiate everyone into that program. It may be very exhausting, but the legitimate knowledge that comes from it is humbling and worth dignifying. I am not reducing the profits of this game to these three facts I just enumerated. I think I reacted more to where I have gained a lot at the process of playing the game. It will be truly welcoming if there are other ways this game has helped your life or has influenced your thought about the global world.


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