Chess – A Metaphor for Power

It is quite trendy for management people to draw lessons from everything in life ranging from spirituality to sport. Chess is one powerful game where no outcomes can be achieved though compromises. The end games are even more non – negotiable. Let us pause for a moment and give the game a thought. There are 64 squares on a chess board and 32 pieces on it with 16 pieces for each player. One move opens 400 different possibilities. This multiplies exponentially and after 4 moves, more than 288 billion possibilities open up. Which is why, I like to think of chess as a brilliant metaphor for power! To win this game you have to be a great strategist who can think ahead of his own moves and simultaneously anticipate the moves of his opponent too. The realization dawns on us that it is the competitors who shape our strategy. It is a game packed with power. Only those who wield it well know how finite their time is. Prime minister, Narendra Damodar Das Modi, who ranks number 1 on my list today, declared to his advisors “I like dealing with problems. Competition is the beauty of democracy and I am looking forward to it.” He has more than monopolized the game and played with the mass mind with unmatched panache. One ought to have leadership qualities to handle 16 pieces or warriors, know their strength and weaknesses, channelize their strength to win the game using right tactics and strategies. Mr. Narendra Modi’s flawless strategies have changed the dynamics of the political game. You need to control your impulses, set your goal and identify alternative and consequences. These are all part of the game. You even learn to deal with uncertainty. Students of Cairo are learning the game of chess to make all the right moves in the game of life.

In the end, I would say chess is one game which teaches us all the important qualities of management and leadership.

This article has been written by Prof. Sanjiv Singh Bhal,of Amity Business School , Jaipur

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