Benjamin Franklin: The Morals of Chess (Explained) Part - 4

Benjamin Franklin's essay, the morals of chess, is still celebrated among the chess lovers. All the four virtues are abided by people to succeed in chess and in life. There is a strong notion that exists among players ‘There are times when a well-placed pawn is more powerful than the king.' So, the placement of the pawn is crucially important to overpower the game. Very similar to life, where trivial circumstances or situations lead you to define the course of your life. In this blog, we would discuss, Benjamin Franklin's fourth and final virtue of chess.

Elimination of Discouragement


"And lastly, we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favourable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating one's self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory from our own skill, or at least of getting a stalemate from the negligence of our adversary . . ."

Franklin says that a regular game of chess eliminates discouragement in various situations and makes a person stronger. It builds a sense of sportsman spirit, as we call it now. Winning or losing, a game should be played fair, according to rules and its result should be accepted with the head held up high. There are frequent changes of situation that occur in a game of chess and it's quite natural. The player needs to deal with such situation tactfully, irrespective of any difficulty and it encourages to continue playing.

In context to life

Since chess has some uncanny resemblance to life, the same rules are applied with it. You can have tons of barriers and difficulties in life but what counts is to continue living it on your own terms and conditions. Unlike chess, you are the one who makes the rules for yourself but these just make you stronger. No day is same in the journey of life so being prepared to deal with circumstances is an exceptional quality that one should acquire. You should think before acting upon situations so, remain sure about the aftereffects. Just like chess encourages people to play along with the events and reach the outcome, so is it with life. You play along no matter what, and take each action with pride. However, remember you might win or lose at the end but you embrace what you have obtained during the journey.

Through Benjamin Franklin, came together a few people to form The Philosophical Society in 1743, he always had a deep-rooted connection with philosophy. His zeal of life, always makes people think about his ideology that drives him to achieve so much in a span of his life. His noteworthy work is still appreciated by all, especially his perspective towards life.