Better Loss Next Time: Lessons Learned on Black and White

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I should be good at chess. I’m a big picture guy with an eye for strategy. Problem solving is my wheelhouse. And when it comes to the serious, I play to win.

But for the life of me I cannot win a game.

It’s a wonder that I even manage getting second place.

Sure, I understand the rules. But my opponents knows the how and why of my moves even though I’m not sure myself.

I gave up playing actual people after my friendly matches grew tiresome. Nothing is more draining than feigning fate’s opposite. I can’t bring myself to burden friends and strangers like that.

Even still, the computer’s cold calculations have led me to an ironic realization.

I love this game.

Sure it’d be nice to join a park tourney or have a standing appointment with a pal. And I haven’t discounted the possibility of enjoying either.

But when you’ve lost as much as I have, I can’t help but think that this many defeats has to amount to a hefty down payment on victory.

I don’t enjoy getting beat, but if learning to lose is this positive, winning a game will be something special.

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Richard Newton, PhD is curator of Sowing the Seed and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at  Elizabethtown College. His scholarship focuses on the anthropology of scriptures.

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