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  • Writer's pictureDave Picozzi

Checkmate in Two: See It?

Updated: Jan 22

Beyond the game… Mastering the Art of Strategic Thinking.

I like to solve puzzles. It keeps me sharp and creative. Often, I hear people say, “That’s impossible” or complain that something is too difficult because they stopped thinking of how to win against adversity.

Review the chessboard, and comment below. I promise you that there is a creative ‘mate in two’ solution with white moving next. It’s satisfying to find it. Note that the black king is on h4, and white started the game on the board bottom.

A chess board with a black king ready to be checkmated


Chess teaches us important business skills. To be successful, you have to use logic, anticipate others' next moves, improve your overall vision, and look for efficient wins when situations make it less obvious.

Here are some skills that chess can help develop:

1. Strategic Planning and Foresight

At the heart of chess lies strategic planning – the ability to envision a path to victory and make calculated moves to achieve it. In business, similar strategic planning is crucial for navigating the complexities of the market, identifying opportunities, and outmaneuvering competitors. Chess cultivates this ability by forcing players to consider multiple possibilities, evaluate potential consequences, and anticipate their opponent's actions. This parallels the business world, where successful leaders must analyze market trends, assess risks and rewards, and predict competitor strategies.

2. Adaptability and Flexibility

It’s a dynamic game, where situations evolve rapidly, and players must adapt their strategies accordingly. This adaptability is mirrored in the business landscape, where unforeseen challenges, changing market conditions, and unexpected competitor actions require agile decision-making. Chess players develop the ability to adjust their plans on the fly, reevaluate their position, and seize new opportunities. This flexibility is essential for business leaders who must navigate the ever-changing terrain of the market.

3. Resource Management and Optimization

Every piece plays a crucial role, and efficient resource management is paramount to achieving victory. Similarly, in business, leaders must effectively allocate and utilize their resources – human, financial, and technological – to maximize their effectiveness. Chess instills the discipline of resource optimization, teaching players to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their pieces, prioritize their use, and coordinate their actions. This skill translates directly to business, where leaders must effectively manage their workforce, allocate funds wisely, and leverage technology strategically.

4. Pattern Recognition and Anticipation

Chess masters excel at recognizing patterns on the board, allowing them to anticipate potential threats and opportunities. This ability to identify recurring patterns and anticipate future developments is invaluable in the business world, where recognizing market trends, consumer behavior patterns, and competitor strategies can lead to informed decision-making and competitive advantage. Chess trains players to observe subtle cues, analyze historical data, and predict future scenarios, skills that are highly sought after in the business realm.

5. Calculated Risk-Taking and Patience

It demands a delicate balance between calculated risk-taking and patience. Knowing when to take risks, seize opportunities, and sacrifice pieces for long-term gain is essential for chess mastery. This translates to business acumen, where leaders must balance the pursuit of growth and innovation with the need for risk management and long-term sustainability. Chess players develop the ability to assess potential risks and rewards, weigh different options, and make calculated decisions under pressure, skills that are crucial for successful business ventures.

Chess is far from being a mere game. It serves as a valuable training ground for developing essential business skills. With the ever-changing landscape of our business world, the lessons learned from chess remain as relevant and valuable as ever.


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