Relationship as chess: Why a king needs a Queen and a healthy respect for ordinary pawns.

Every man needs a woman when his life is in ruins. Just as in chess, the king needs a lady because she will protect him.
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My friend sadly put his king down on the chessboard – just to let me know that he was giving up.

“I can’t win, I have lost my Queen” he said, and then more thoughtfully, “I think relationships sometimes feel like chess, don’t they?

He came to see me high in the mountains, in the secluded place where I was just finishing the book Twelve Hearts. He wanted to understand why he had lost his partner and why she was happier now with someone else, despite many previous years of mutual devotion.

“Did I hold her back? What has he got that I haven’t? What’s wrong with me?” There were these and other questions, and they were all essentially different expressions of the same thing; expressions of a basic lack of awareness of why this happened given voice and amplified by anxiety.

I lit a fire and poured him some Martell.

Do you know what breaks my heart?” he said“Everything she refused to do with me she does with someone else now. I here that she is happy, makes plans, that she has perked up. I texted her many times begging her to come back to me but she refused. I see how well she is doing and I have stopped bothering. Now I just want to understand why I was attracted to someone who could be so wrong for me? I thought I’d be okay if I followed my heart but it just led me over a cliff.”

The fire crackled and I took my dusty copy of the First Class ABC book down off the bookcase. I thumbed the well-worn pages and considered how all of us develop over time, our souls seemingly on a journey of maturity from A to Z but sometimes progressing at different rates, sometimes settling at their natural destination.

When a C and an S become attracted to each other the emotional disparity won’t be obvious at the start, as they’re swept up with each other and blind to the gulf that lies between them. But soon, one party or the other will find their feelings shifting, their love ebbing away to be replaced by a bland indifference that they may not even acknowledge until they find themselves catching the eye of a stranger. And when that look is returned and interest builds, C and S are now running on borrowed time.

It’s hard to pin down where the new attraction lies, but we somehow know by instinct when another person is close to us in ABC terms than someone else. Someone close to us alphabetically just seems to ‘click’ with us, and we feel that we naturally understand each other.

“He or she makes an impression on me,” we often hear. “He/she has got charisma, inspires me and changes me.”

With the right partner, we feel certain that we will move forwards. Not only are they climbing a ladder of achievement but they are pulling us up with them. Progress together seems inevitable. We feel confident enough to tackle obstacles that we used to be afraid of. We climb without vertigo thanks to trust and infectious enthusiasm. We become greater than the sum of our parts.

This is what the magic of a good relationship is grounded in, the oft mentioned ‘chemistry’ that’s so hard to define. It’s built on attraction and energy and cemented by respect and support.

We’re back to give and take, something I always mention because it will always be so important. One-sided relationships are merely marking time. Each person should be giving and taking in equal measure, giving and getting support in equal measure. Maybe not all on the same day but over time, time and again.

Sometimes all you need is to know that there is someone there to catch you, who you are certain would catch you. That feeling alone is worth more than the feeling of being caught when you fall. It’s the safety net you carry around with you all the time that gives you the confidence to take on more than you thought you could.

It’s a little like chess.

They say that a man and a woman, who is higher by several levels are usually attracted to the relationship as two magnets. How to imagine the difference between them? Just like on the chessboard.

The king is allowed to make one step to any direction. The queen does not have to limit her steps.

The most essential thing is that every man needs a woman when his life is ruined. As well as in chess – every King needs the Queen because she will protect him.

However, in life the following rule usually applies: Several incorrect moves and you will get check mate.

My friend lost the key chess piece. He did not realize that the king must be permanently worried of losing his queen because the queen, as the only one on the chess board, risks everything to protect the king. Her loss cannot be compensated by any other chess piece. And women know well the rule: do not treat him as the king unless he appreciates you as the queen.

Who is actually the right king for this queen?

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