Image by Balaji Malliswamy
  • Wendy Oliveras, MS

Basic Chess Tactics to Help You Deal With the COVID-19 Crisis


Regardless if you are a chess player or not, you can still take advantage of two major chess tactics which I love to use daily to stay focused and proactive especially during this unexpected COVID-19 virus predicament. The first chess tactic is to stay vigilant of others, your competitors, and your marketplace. The other chess tactic is to anticipate your opponent’s next move.


For example, when you play chess, you must stay vigilant and alert as to what your opponent is doing on the board because if you don’t, one or more of your pieces could be in danger of being attacked or taken. You want to make sure you develop a strategic backup plan to protect each piece as much as possible so you don’t sacrifice one of your pieces for something worth far less.


On the other hand, the same concept of staying vigilant directly applies to your life circumstances and business dealings as well. You must stay vigilant and observant with regard to who you allow in your personal life, who you partner with, and what entities you do business with to avoid deceit, fraud, or being taken advantage of. This may sound a bit extreme, but the reality is vigilance and caution are tactics which can help save you from regrettable mistakes and avoid future catastrophic events.


Now, when you analyze and anticipate your opponent’s next move on the chess board you are actually using an inherent tactic which can also be used in real life circumstances. In other words, while “anticipating your opponent’s next move” you are actually thinking ahead and organizing your thoughts to make your next move in response thereto and the challenging cycle continues from that first move. You move and then I move and then you move, etc., until you reach your endgame which is your final goal.


After your opponent makes a first move ask yourself:


“Why did she/he make that move?”


“Why did my direct competitor in my marketplace make that move?”


“Who or what is my opponent attacking?”


The key is to pinpoint, analyze, and develop the ability to envision at least three to five moves or options in advance to help you avoid and prevent surprises. The more moves you can anticipate in advance the better. In order to do this, you must be able to:


(a) recognize the threat;


(b) identify who your opponent(s) is;


(c) consider what your next moves or options will be as a result of your opponent’s first move;


(d) anticipate your opponent’s move as a result of your next move;


(e) don’t be afraid to make a decision; and


(f) make your move!


I strongly believe the biggest challenge we all face is identifying who our opponents are in life and business. Right now, our main opponent is the COV-19 virus. We are all facing this crisis together. This virus is causing worldwide panic and anxiety, and we need to stay patient, focused, and vigilant. We need to commit to do what is expected of us to be safe and healthy and develop positive and productive coping mechanisms in which to survive. (Maybe this is a great time to learn chess.)


We also need to heed the warnings of “social distancing” and anticipate that our opponent is not only this virus, but ourselves if we don’t take the necessary precautions and tips to sanitize and maintain a safe environment at home. I have faith that together we can successfully and fearlessly play life chess and checkmate this virus once and for all!