Chess and Mental Health
— Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch
Chess, for me, is a metaphor for life.
The chess board provides a distinct, structured framework. As in life, to win, you think and work to coordinate your pieces. You develop a pattern to your moves. And you view possibilities through which you can shape your world.
One time, I was speaking to a 31-year-old man who’s about to give up on life. Abandoned by his father since birth and raised in poverty, he rose from the ashes and became a self-made millionaire at a young age.
Then, for some unexplainable reason, he was having suicidal thoughts. Somehow he slipped from his usual determined self that produced a magical dance in his life. He was good in rising up. Yet he experienced almost losing his grip.
In chess, it’s essential to keep one’s motivation alive. And when darkness shadows the board, to recall one’s purpose. And when one gets lost or confused looking at those dead pieces of wood, to stay in touch with one’s original inspiration to play.
In life, an absolutely most important thing is affirming your higher Self and knowing your true purpose. Even when you experience hurts, failures, or traumas, you have to stay in touch with that very core of your being.