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Huxley: Life And Chess Game

T.H. Huxley says: Suppose it were perfectly certain that life and fortune of every one of us would, in one day or another depend upon his winning or losing a game of chess?

What would your next steps be?

Huxley compares:

The chess board is the world.
The pieces the phenomena of the universe, and
The rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature.

Usually chess boards are colored black and white, or black and yellow (Wiz Kahlifa), or dark and light, anything like that. The universe as day and night is also bloom and glum; win and lose; build and destroy.

The chess pieces are the king, queen, bishop, rook (tower), knight (horse), pawn; which he says are as the phenomena of the universe. The chess board has 64 squares.


The analogy makes us consider, that we should at least know the names of the players, and /or the pieces, and the rules of the game, as in life.

Like real life, one should have focus to attain a goal and win. Keep moving, till you get to the other end and cross battles. In life, it’s not always smooth-sailing and moving slow; rather it is moving wisely and thinking. Man is a thinking guardian of the earth, and God is the umpire. If chess can capture a royalty, men can conquer all there is in his faith. God sets man free.

I could see that Huxley compares life to a chess game because he sees life as a big challenge. We are not created to be bored or to be permanent losers in this life, that is why we have all the abundant earth and the seasons that teach us, to which men adapt.

The spots in the analogy seeming imperfect are:

The pieces, which he deems phenomena of the universe, come vague because a phenomenon is uncountable, and it doesn’t exactly explain what each player means or signifies.

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