Archive for the ‘Chess and Money’ Category

Parallel 2: Track every cent you earn/spend//Bishop, King, Pawn… Where art thou?

I remember playing with Kajani K. years ago and there were times when I got tired of waiting for him to play his move. It was not because he was “slow” because when a Chess clock was introduced, he would play at lightning speed! It was almost never possible to beat Kajani when playing a game that was timed (with a chess clock). One time, out of boredom, I decided to study his face! I looked at his nose, hair, … and finally eyes. There! All over the place. Then they would stop for a while… and I would stop looking at him to “see” what he was looking at. The eyes would start looking all over the board again… It took me a long time to realize that Kajani was not just wasting time. He was searching, hunting, quizzing moves out. I can say that of all amateurs that I have played with, he was the most professional. The person who tried to find the soul of Chess – the best move or moves at any one time. I later adopted this approach. I think I am a fairly quick player, but I try to look at everything before I make my move – most of the time!

What does this have to do with life – more specifically, money? I realized later on, that not knowing where every bit of my money went was like not knowing where my pieces were when playing Chess. What’s the point of playing the game in the first place? How can you win if you don’t know where every piece on the board is, and if it is not on the board, what happened to it?! Similarly, I told myself to track every cent I earned or spent. For me, money is Chess. Tracking everything helped me see patterns in my expenditure. Oh, I just gave up my queen for nothing! (That’s how I think when I make an unnecessary expenditure – of course, sometimes it’s a pawn, and I don’t sweat it too much – until I miss the pawn…)

My two pawns! How do you think when you play chess or spend money? (What a loaded question!)

With Chesslove,



Parallel 1: Make more than you spend//Play with stronger players

I love(d) Chess dearly and one of the things that helped my strength rise exponentially was playing with stronger players. I had faith in my ability to learn how my opponents were playing and changes to make in order to adjust and fare better. What do you gain from strong players? It depends. They may be strong because they have played the game for a long time and they just “know” what to do to win. By playing with them frequently, you have the advantage of seeing “things” that they keep doing. Sound opening, eyes darting all over the board looking for opportunities to create something or see weak areas to attack, taking a second to see an opponent’s move etc. That is just one of the reasons an opponent may be strong. That is not my reason for writing these thoughts. I think the weaker player benefits from the net (positive) difference between him and his opponent. This net difference reminded me of another important factor when playing chess for a living and for living to play chess. The former, you play chess to be able to pay your bills. The latter you work somewhere to be able to pay your expenses including Chess. Anyway, can you create a net positive difference in the way you spend the money you make either way? Personal financial advisers recommend that you spend less than you make. (I said, make more than you spend… it is not quite the same thing, but you end up with the net positive difference either way.) That is the way to improve your life, at least financially.

Some of the things that are obvious to us on the Chessboard are not that obvious in life.

With Chesslove,


How did you learn to manage your finances better? What was your route to improving at Chess? What do you agree/disagree with in this piece?

Parallels between chess and life

This will be a series where by I will go through some things that I believe are required for one to be a success at Chess and for one to live a more fulfilling life. So far I have come up with the following things, but I will add to it in due time.

1. Life: Make more than you spend (-actually, spend less than you make). Chess: Play with players better than yourself.

2. Life: Track every cent that you spend/earn. Chess: Account for every piece on the Chessboard – yours and your opponent’s.

3. Life: Count to 32 before you spend your money. Chess: Count to 32 before you touch the piece you want to move/play.

4. Life: Analyze your expenses. Chess: Analyze your games; annotate every move.

5. Life: Start early. Chess: Start early.

6. Life: Develop good habits. Chess: Develop good habits.

7. Life: Passive income is the best and easiest way to earn money. Chess: passive thought is the best and easiest way to play good chess.

8. Life: Have an “EMERGENCY FUND”. Chess: Cover your bases (MAKE SURE THE KING IS SAFE!)

9. Life: Learn to live without. Chess: Learn to play without.

More to come… -)

10. Life: Patience. Chess: One move at a time (- patience)