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David Porkka

Life Lessons From Chess

1. Think like a horse

Predict and play out possible futures in your mind, then act in the way that leads to the best future. For each choice, anticipate roadblocks and jump over them.

2. Put your greatest skills to use

Don't let your queen sit on the sidelines if you can use it to change the game. Develop skills in areas that will have a disproportionate benefit for the time invested, compared to improving your weaknesses.

3. Protect your king

Recognize the things that are most important to you and protect them at all costs. If you value your time, don't let other people or things waste it.

4. Position yourself

Put yourself in the position that leads to the most options. Be both offensive and defensive. Control the center and you control the game.

5. Don't underestimate consistent action

Your pawns become queens when they reach the other side of the board. Even the smallest actions build up over time and eventually lead to useful skills.

6. Combine skills to gain an advantage

Focus on learning skills that complement each other. The combined strength of your skills is more than the sum of your separate skills.

7. Be unpredictable

If you play the way everyone else plays, you're both boring and easily defeated. So switch things up occasionally and explore alternative solutions to common problems. But also study the traditional paths, so you can predict your opponent.

8. Learn from the masters

Watch them play and observe their choices and mistakes. Study their moves and then apply what you learn.

9. Learn from your mistakes

Study your past failures, so you can make different choices next time and win. Keep repeating this process, until you're unbeatable.