How do you procrastinate? There is no point in tiptoeing around the subject, I’m pretty sure we all avoid doing our work right? My roommate and I like to play chess. We mostly play on, sometimes against each other and sometimes against random opponents. I also have a beaver themed chess board a mentor in high school gave me that we have an occasional bout on.

The thing I love about chess is the unlimited possibilities. Yes, I know there is technically a finite amount of games possible, but in realistic terms, the outcomes are endless. Every game diverges at some point from known theory, and players must rely on their calculation abilities. Even elite players my roommate and I enjoy watching such as Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, run out of prepared moves, and delve into pure theory and brain power. Tactics and openings can only get chess players so far.

My uncle is an avid chess player, he is likely a little better than me, and he recommended that I learn end game strategies first and for most. It seems counter intuitive that a new player would study the elements and techniques for the end of a game, before locking down solid opening theory. But by learning the fundamentals of endgame play, chess beginners grasp the motivating factors behind the rest of the game easier. The openings have all been well theorized and fleshed out, but players are on their own at the end of a game.

Blitz mode is the most common game type my roommate and I play on We like 3 minute matches. Each player has 3 minutes on the clock, so play moves quickly, but many games still end in resignation or check mate, as opposed to the fastest bullet games where players simply run out of time. In blitz mode there is some time for thinking so the strategy can get interesting. Right now I am working on planning check mates out further in advance so I can motivate smaller moves in the middle stages of the game rather than looking for immediate gratification or inconsequential opportunities. If I make all my moves intentional, I reach my goals more efficiently and effectively.

have found many of the same principles I apply to my chess games work for real life. When I study for school, it is good to have a long term goal, for example working towards a midterm or project, and tackle the assignment is small manageable tasks. I am inseparable from my planner, and religiously write down all my homework. It keeps me motivated to stay on top of my work, or as I have been doing a good job of this year, stay ahead of my work. Of course, it is always good to have a study break and play some chess or go for a walk. I like finding joy in small things because in the end they add up in unexpected ways.

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3 Replies to “Procrastination”

  1. I love me some chess and some Beavers! A Beaver chess set sounds pretty awesome. It makes me think that I need to break out my Simpsons chess set more often. 🙂

  2. What a great parallel with chess. Unfortunately, the stakes in life are much, much higher than simply losing a game. Maybe that’s why we put off plans of living, loving, studying, travelling – because a possible failure will have a much greater impact on our lives.

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