It’s interesting to compare one of the oldest strategy games in chess, alongside a combat art like Jiu Jitsu which has a high demand for technical and strategic ability. Like Jiu Jitsu and many other combat arts, Chess shares some striking similarities. You will hear players use the same terminology in reference to a match such as “pressure, angles, flow, traps, sacrifices (not the ritualistic kind!) and even pins!”. One day I was listening to a chess instructional on MasterClass and my mother thought I was listening to a Jiu Jitsu instructional due to the verbiage being used. Below are a few things in chess that stand to help any beginner in their Jiu Jitsu journey.
1. Patience – Every masterpiece is formed by time, from your investment portfolio to a beautiful set of mountains. Enjoy each moment good and bad, they all contribute to the end goal.
2. Understand leverage – The ultimate question of Jiu Jitsu is “how can a smaller, weaker man gain the upper hand?”, so too in chess.
3. Learn to be tricky – Sometimes appearing strong is more harmful than appearing weak, good players deceive their opponents to gain an advantage.
4. Don’t predict your opponent’s move, focus on positioning your pieces (yourself) in the best way possible.
5. There are no good or bad pieces (techniques), each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Learn to appreciate them for their unique value. While we certainly favor some pieces over others they all contribute to your victory from the lowly Pawn to the powerful Queen.