Tirade – How to be a Loser & Win Big

Written & edited by Adam Holzrichter.

In life I have lost friends many times over. I’ve lost love, made many bad drawings, and have failed over and over until I believed I couldn’t fail anymore. On the other side of failure is a choice. Do I stand in contempt of the specifics, or do I learn how to move forward? What will become of a person who holds steady in contempt? We can all think of an example (or ten) of someone who lives this way.

In chess I’ve learned strategy, patience, level-headedness, concentration, how to avoid traps, set traps, persevere against all odds. I found ways to see loss as gain, what to sacrifice for the greater good, being level-headed under strict time constraints, rewards that accompany aggressive approaches (fortune favors the bold, except for when it doesn’t), appreciation for simplicity, and when to be defensive.

When I started playing chess, gameplay imitated my life. I created chaos on the board, then attempted to clean it up with direct, but reactionary moves. Perhaps the way we play games in our lives echoes the way we do all things. Are we satisfied in a style of play that never evolves? Do we care about winning, or is it enough to have someone who is willing to play with us at all?

What’s the greatest takeaway from games you’re playing?

Play Adam Holzrichter on Chess.com under the username: ItForBrains

Play Trevor Knapp on Chess.com under the username: TRRVRR

Dedicated to Albert Chow (1964-2021).

I remember Albert Chow as a shadow. I never knew his kindness outside of a public setting, but I witnessed his weirdness. I remember his happy birthday wishes on social media, and his likes on my CONTENT. I remember thinking his sunglasses were silly looking, but always thought of him as a good person.

We weren’t dear friends. We weren’t enemies. We were just two people who were weirdos. Unfortunately, only in death do I stop to look at his life as a serious chess player. Through the game I feel like I may be understanding something he could have seen in this game as well: Taking your hand off the piece means your move is official.

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