Chess has been my faithful companion of leisure since childhood. A family friend taught me the moves and the rudiments during a summer holiday spent on the Tuscan coast.
It is said that you don’t learn chess, you "understand" it ... Well, the game involved me to the point that I wanted to understand it, deepening its dynamics thanks to the reading of some manuals. Then I decided to build the theatre of my passion by myself. So I came up with a little project made out of formica and wood, with the help of a Valdera carpenter I made the black squares uneven and the white ones smooth. The result was pretty decent and the object was durable, to the point that, after forty years, I still own that chessboard.
As an adult, professional commitments permitting, I have always welcomed the invitation to play a game. In recent times, using technology, it happens that I measure myself in the game of chess with a computer or a mobile phone as well.
Many, and sometimes dazzling, aphorisms define this fascinating sport for the thought, this discipline of the strategy that has fascinated men at every latitude for fifteen hundred years. There are those who define it as a work of art between two minds, capable of balancing two sometimes disparate purposes: winning and producing beauty.
And again: the art of war without carnage, the fight against error, the culture of the spirit, the supremacy of intellyesce over power. Chess is a very pleasant pastime, a gym to train and exercise the mind, highly recommended for children. But chess is also an extraordinary metaphor of existential order. It is no coincidence that very high profile intellectuals such as the philosopher Leibniz or the supreme Tolstoy have declared on several occasions their love for this game, with regards not only to the exercise of the faculty of thinking, but also to the further dynamics that it evokes and triggers.
In my much more modest experience, I can say that chess practice has helped to form the clear conviction that nothing in this world happens by chance. And that luck, in life as in chess, is not part of the game.
A beautiful Black&White clip of Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli - with chess at 3:25. Listen and enjoy: Fall on Me