Simple solutions for complex problems

Sitaram Naik

Thinking Power

Changes in Chess Game to improve Thinking Power

Every step in chess game is a game by itself. For every step, we need to see the powers and positions of both players and decide the best step for that condition. This step does not depend on the past steps or future steps. It is a decision to be made for the current situation. Overall it is a game of many steps because all the steps are according to a strategy. But the strategy gets changed at every step. Better not to call it as change of strategy. We need to define a new strategy at every step depending on the current situation. So chess is a game of strategies.

When I play chess game with children, I show the mistakes that they make and I give suggestions for better steps and guide them. Some times children feel that I am playing the game from both sides. On the other side, if they lose the game every time, they lose interest in the game. If I also make mistakes to give better chances for the child to win, child does not learn anything and there is no use of playing the game. But sometimes I make mistakes as if that is done unknowingly and bring my game in toughest condition. Then I seriously fight back with the limited powers. That is challenging for me and for the child also.

It is difficult to find two family members with same level of expertise in playing chess game. Even among siblings, there is difference of expertise. When people play with different expertise, one person will win always. The other person will never play by knowing that he/she will lose always.

To facilitate two people with different expertise to play chess game and to promote chess game among family members, I am proposing some changes to the chess game. The changes are:

  1. Depending on the handicap (lack of expertise), the opponent is offered multiple "Colour swaps".
    1. Maximum 3 Colour swaps are allowed. Number of Colour swaps is decided at start of the game. It can be 1, 2 or 3.
    2. The following rules can be added, if required, on top of Colour swaps to restrict purposeful negligence.
      1. Colour swap is not allowed when it is in "Check"
      2. Preset minimum number of powers should be present with the handicapped player to allow Colour swap, like Queen should be alive or half of other powers should be alive, etc.
  2. For the players with same level of expertise, one Colour swap is allowed for each player.
    1. When a player requests for Colour swap, the opponent can also request for Colour swap immediately without making any step. Then the game will be same as the current chess game without any Colour swaps.
    2. Colour swap can be used when one of the players needs a clue on how to proceed further. Sometimes the game comes to a situation where we can guess who is going to win. Colour swap can be used in that situation to make the game challenging again.

Definition of Colour swap: After Colour swap, players exchange their places and play with opponent's coins. The player, who is playing with white coins, will play with black coins. The player, who is playing with black coins, will play with white coins. A player can request for Colour swap before making a step when it is his/her turn.

Chess game improves decision making powers, foresight, problem solving and thinking. Education gives knowledge. Having mere knowledge is not enough to survive. Chess game is the simplest, costless solution for gaining invaluable powers to survive. It can be played by anybody irrespective of their age, sex, economical status, educational qualification, expertise and physical strength. With my proposal, any two persons can play the game irrespective of their expertise in the game.

We need to encourage poor illiterates, especially women and girls, to play chess game as often as possible. We need to conduct frequent chess contests among girls in villages. It improves thinking and decision making power. With the proposed changes, children can play with other children or with parents or with grand parents irrespective of their expertise. Along with physical exercises children need mental exercises also. Chess game can give enough mental exercise for children. Government can supply chess boards to school children and poor villagers.

If chess game is downloaded to our mobile phone or laptop, it can be played anywhere without carrying the board. When we play with the computer, it is like a single player game. The game can be saved and resumed whenever we get time.