Benjamin Franklin: The Morals of Chess (Explained) Part-3


Indeed true, the upheavals in one's life fly away swiftly leaving a clear sky, and then life goes on. But for some people, a storm is a dramatic magnificent dance of nature that needs to be enjoyed. True to its saying, Benjamin Frankin was different, he was one that fell in love with the storm. His deep love for oceans and storms stimulated him to discover the modern understanding of the Gulf stream. Among his numerous voyages that took him to places, he encountered violent storms in the ocean. During his frequent sailing between Europe and North America, he started to notice a pattern to these storms and concluded the understanding of Gulf stream, an ocean current that effects weather on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

With so much going inside his mind, he always found time to play chess and present the world his very famous essay 'The morals of Chess'. We have already elaborated the other two virtues of chess. Let's find out, what is his third virtue of Chess?


"Not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired, by observing strictly the laws of the game; such as, If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down, you must let it stand. And it is therefore best that these rules should be observed, as the game becomes thereby more the image of human life, and particularly of war ; in which, if you have incautiously put yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy’s leave to withdraw your troops, and place them more securely; but you must abide all the consequences of your rashness."   

Franklin has put this beautifully by stating, hasty and impetuous decisions in chess would always result in a false move. Be cautious about your surroundings before lifting a piece, because once done you cannot place it back. These are the fundamental laws of chess, but according to Benjamin, these are such rules that one should follow even in their daily lives. Once you a take a hasty decision, you have to confront its consequences. You should be careful while you speak or do things, taking into consideration, the overall impact that it would create in one's life .

It isn't a Marathon anymore

Take a deep breathe and think about life from the glasses of the man (Benjamin Franklin). In a race, you run and you win awards for being the best among all. It is specific to a time frame. But what about chess, or life? A rush would lead you nowhere. Make thoughtful decisions. There is no final destination that you need to travel to. You need to stay calm and make strategic progress. Associate your chess moves with your actions in life and that would give you the answer. It is a battlefield with hurdles and barriers, you can overcome such obstacles only by a full-proof plan. The success that you desire to achieve would follow your path if you analyse, strategize and then put your thought to action.