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CHESS. Tons and tons of losses helped me to understand the simple, yet elusive, essence of a game.

bmb_orgil 3 / 3  
Dec 28, 2016   #1
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


Once again, I glanced at the board searching for an escape, but I had mistranslated my tactics on the board. I was on the verge of losing until I saw one opening to strike.

I first fell in love with chess as an eleven-year-old kid. I was intrigued by the unique chess board at my Grandpa's country house: wooden dogs used as pawns, wooden camels used as bishops, king's right-hand men used as the queen, and wooden carriages used as rooks. This was the most interesting chess set I have ever seen. So, I would ask about the chess set rather than the game itself. Grandpa may have misread my interest because he offered to teach me more about the game during my summer vacation.

At first, he explained me the basic structure of that specific board and how it depicted Mongolian nomadic lifestyle style with just 16 pieces. After his short introduction, I wanted to learn more about this game maybe even the lifestyle of it. "Why not give it a shot," I thought to myself and accepted his offer. My first ever move was pawn to e5, from that moment on, I had no idea how to intertwine my pieces together. I didn't have the slightest knowledge of opening advances, mid-game control, and end-game tactics. I was just like a soldier in a battle without a gun. Every day I encountered with this battle for 3 months straight. I thought I had gotten better by just playing, but as we played our last game the result was same as every other match I've encountered against him: loss. Just before my departure, Grandpa inspired me with his parting words, "You know, everyone has the will to win, but they lack the will to prepare."

Coming home from Khentii, Grandpa's home province, I was determined to show him what I was capable of. I begged my parents over and over again. Annoyed, they decided to buy me a beginner chess manual that included everything I needed to learn to be successful on the board. That evening -and every other evening thereafter- I studied this book, devouring the tactics with enthusiasm. I wrote everything in my notebook, starting with the basic movements of each piece up until possible tactics. I asked my classmates, parents, cousins and even nieces to play against me in order to keep track of my progression. But guess what?... I was still losing! Every night, I couldn't sleep. I was haunted by this game, but I did not want to give up. At that time, I was immersed in a new world and a whole new dimension - 32 pieces in two contrasting colors.

Tons and tons of losses helped me to understand the simple, yet elusive, essence of a game called "chess". It is all about mistake. Both players use certain tactics to overcome their opponents defense, but one wrong move and you are short-handed. Thereupon, I have learned that chess gives you the ability to cogitate every decision you are going to make later on in your game, and also in life. Not only did chess helped me to become who I am today, but also helped me to discover ME. A kid full of mistakes.

After all those days of studying opening theories, mid-game strategies, and end-game tactics, I moved one piece - a PAWN and triumphantly looked at Grandpa.

"Checkmate!" I said breaking the silence.
"You did it," said my Grandpa, "You did it!"
That is the one thing I learned from chess: You are a Pawn. No matter how small you start in life, with the right moves, one has the potential to become the game-changing factor.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 12,839 4175  
Dec 28, 2016   #2
Bat, you need to work on the length of this essay, it takes too long to get to the point. You spend more than half of the essay explaining your love for chess and how you could not find a playmate, etc. all of which do not help to move the story along. The point is that you failed to do something. Get to the point or express the failure as it happened by the end of the first paragraph. If you wait until the 2nd paragraph, or in your case, the 3rd paragraph, the reviewer will already have stopped reading your essay and moved on. If possible omit the background of how you fell in love with chess. Just show the reviewer how your chess skills were inadequate for you to win at the start. That will be more than enough of a foundation for your essay response. Aside from the problematic introductory paragraph, the rest of the essay works well for the discussion.
l3atjin 3 / 5  
Dec 28, 2016   #3
Hello Bat, i think you spent most of your words in setting up your essay. By the time you started your main point, it was already the half of the essay gone. You should complete your settings in one paragraph and immediately get to your main point.

Home / Undergraduate / CHESS. Tons and tons of losses helped me to understand the simple, yet elusive, essence of a game.