This is my new travel chess set. Obviously, a travel chess set is meant to travel, but my New Year's resolutions do not include globe trotting. The plan is, however, that this set will be with me wherever I go, figuratively if not literally.
Yes, one resolution is to learn to play better. Yet, what I have found so far is that there is more to chess than just playing. Getting better at it includes life lessons like "you are not losing if you are learning" and focusing on "good moves" instead of wins. Benjamin Franklin's New Year's toast is fitting for me this year given his interest in chess. He wrote about it in "The Morals of Chess," which ran in the Columbian Magazine just before New Year's in 1786.
Franklin says, "The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it."
So here's to continuing to war with our vices, seeking peace with our neighbors, and finding ourselves better men and women in chess and in life in the New Year. Cheers! 🥃