By Wendy Oliveras, MS, Creative Founder & CEO at SHESS Global Alliance, LLC
I am fascinated and excited by the remarkable success of the NETFLIX series “The Queen’s Gambit,” which focuses on a young female orphan who plays the game of chess at genius levels.\
I’m particularly gratified that the positive reaction to the show has resulted in extraordinarily increased levels of interest in the game, particularly among women. The fact is that I have been advocating for women, particularly those in business, to learn to play chess since 2012. My message is very clear – every business woman should learn to play chess for fun because the skills required to play are transferable tools you can use in your daily activities, including business success.
Skills such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning are but a few. Chess is an intellectual game that mimics a battle of war between two minds. Playing chess teaches you to build confidence in your abilities, focus, memorization, tactical planning, and development of effective strategic moves to win.
Women can also use chess tactics for problem solving. For instance, playing chess requires you to think, plan, and then react to your opponent’s next move. In life and business, your opponent is either a person, place, or thing or a direct competitor in your marketplace. If you do not stay vigilant and observe what your opponent is doing, then you will make mistakes and potentially lose something of real value to you.
So, what is it about this intellectual and logical game that women have shied away from since it was created nearly 1500 years ago? It’s no secret the societal perception has been that chess is a man’s game and women are not smart enough to play and master the game in the same way that males do. The sad fact is approximately just 14% of women compete in professional chess worldwide. Not a very high percentage.
Therefore, what gives? I think women are intimidated by chess, perhaps fear not being able to grasp the game and rules, view the game as boring, or just can’t find the time to learn. Notwithstanding it all, if you really set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything you want, including learning to play chess for fun, and so much more. Just think about the little orphan girl in “The Queen’s Gambit” who harnessed her knowledge of the game to ultimately rise to fame and fortune. Wake up ladies and learn to play. I assure you that you will never regret it!
Wendy Oliveras is a business entrepreneur and author who works to inspire women in business to gain confidence in themselves and learn to play chess. As an avid chess player and small business consultant herself, for over eight years she has been passionately advocating for women in business to learn to play the game for life development. Her upcoming new book entitled “CHECKMATE MOVES FOR BUSINESS STARTUPS: Tactical Advantages from Gameboard to Life” will be available online in mid-January 2021. If you want to get inspired, learn to play chess, and develop winning life and business tactics, this is the book for you! Stay tuned!