In chess, the way to ensure victory is to take control of three centers. Your center, your opponent’s center and the center of the board. That is how any game is won. But mental chess is unique in that no one ever really wins or loses.
Players: Ideally 1 or 2. But in reality, you’re playing against everyone because everyone feels compelled to play whether or not they have been invited to have a game.
Unlike chess, mental chess has no definable pieces. Literally anything at any point in the game can be employed in order to gain an advantage over your opponent. Some people have a predefined strategy that has worked for them from the beginning. Other people naively believe that if they didn’t want to play the game in the first place, no one will want to play with them and these people are quickly defeated.
Sample Game 1: Player 1 is doing laundry. He throws his clothes in first and the detergent second. Player 2 doesn’t even know Player 1, but P2 has been doing his laundry a certain way all of his life and assumes that his way must be the only way.
P2: Uh, maybe it’s just me, but I like to put the detergent in first.
P1: You’re right, it is just you.
In this example, Player 1 definitely wins the match because he did not ask Player 2’s advice. Player 2 attempted to use “Presume to Assess” followed by “Presumptive Elevation” and Player 1 responded with “Verbal Backhand”. If Player 2 is smart, he will either revise his strategy, better assess his opponents, or mind his own effing business going forward.
That was a much simpler game. What about a far more complicated scenario?
Sample Game 2: Player 1 is hungry and it’s late at night. The deli at the local grocer is closing, but Player 1 sees a single chicken that literally anyone could just walk in and grab. The plastic covering is wrapped by a paper towel. He takes the chicken to the counter to pay for it, but shortly after purchase the Deli clerk, Player 2 bounds up and grabs the chicken.
Player 2: Excuse me, but that chicken was being saved for someone.
Player 1: Uh… well, how as I supposed to know? You didn’t write anything on it and anyone could have made the same mistake.
Player 2: It was wrapped in paper towel.
Player 1: Okay, but you still didn’t write anything on it. How was I supposed to know it was for anyone else? Also, why was it still in the open where anyone could grab it?
Player 2: Well when you see a Christmas present wrapped up, you don’t just open it do you? (Walks way with the chicken)
At this point, P1 would like to point out that he doesn’t wrap Christmas presents in paper towel. He also doesn’t leave said present out in the open for anyone to find and more to the point, most X-mas presents have a clear label on them indicating who the present is for. But player one can only win this game verbally. Player 2 is employed at a well known grocer and could twist things around so that the cops might be called. Player 2 only wins because he has other players to “Tag in” so to speak. He wins the fight and the chicken. Player 1 has no alternative but to get a refund and find somewhere else to eat.
The only way to win at mental chess is strangely the only way to lose. Never play. Some people are better at the game than others and some have played for so long that they are simply exhausted mentally and physically. Others play a lower stakes version of the game even after they have consistently lost at the higher stakes games, preferring the small victories over nothing at all, but even in victory you are consistently being challenged and scrutinized by other players. So was it worth it to even bother playing? Only you can decide.