While playing chess, professional players learn to think three steps ahead of their opponent; else they are guaranteed to lose the game. Many people are looking at the game board today, and only making a move after their opponent makes theirs. Meanwhile, their opponent has caught on to this and is now thinking 5 steps ahead (forget 3). Because he knows he has the upper hand he may even toy with you a bit, allowing you little victories, increasing your confidence. And then, before you know it, he has your queen. Check Mate!Some players know some of the rules and they might even know the names of some of the pieces. They may know the pawn can move forward, but they can’t remember if it is one space or two spaces. A player that doesn’t understand the game, or play it often enough to win against a more seasoned player, is almost certain to lose 100% of the time. Eventually, they give up and just stop playing, even if they remain intrigued by the game itself.

But, you too can become a professional. You get yourself a Coach, a Mentor, a Guide. You have faith that your coach is the One who knows the game better than you and can teach you to be just as good as He is. You may even need to get yourself a rulebook and a “how-to” manual. 

This is followed up by constant and regular practice, every day. Before you know it, you are operating three steps ahead of the other guy, your opponent. You understand the Benko Gambit and the Bishops Opening and can see it happening in front of your eyes. And then, you have YOUR day, where you are the one that screams out “Check Mate!” Take that bad guy!!

Your confidence increases, your heart leaps with joy. Your stress of losing the game decreases, you are no longer disappointed. You are now holding your head high and you can look your next opponent in the eye and say “Bring it on brother!”. You have become an expert at the Two Knights Defense and trust their position on the board. You also know the Torre Attack, a true warrior move. 

You may lose some games as you progress but you are no longer shackled to a loser mentality. You observe, you learn, you increase your knowledge of the game – and then you move on to the next one. Even though you may lose here and there, you find yourself winning more and more. 

You applaud your Coach, thank Him for teaching you the game. And, just as importantly, faith in yourself has increased and you now operate in confident expectation that when you play again, you will win. Check Mate!