Originally posted by runninfiend
both are timeless, both are eternal. discuss.
Chess is founded on absolute duality. Black vs. White. As such, it's a perfect symbol for the universe of polarities and dualism that we live in.
But the Tao is about non-duality. The Tao is formless, the formless essence of all things. Chess is all about form -- specific "powers" (pieces) that perform specific functions within a particular zone (the board) with definitive boundaries. The Tao, being formless, has no boundaries.
So in one sense, chess and the Tao are as far apart as you can get. But this is also what makes them compatible, because they represent this gulf between mind and Spirit.
Chess is pure mind. The Tao is pure Spirit. And yet mind is contained within Spirit, as chess is contained within the Tao.
One excels at chess by developing focus and mental willpower within the context of the specific rules of the game. Taoist philosophy is all about "letting go" and seeing deeply into the illusion of personal, ego-based will and effort. In Taoism one does not seek to "beat" the enemy, one rather seeks for the way to deconstruct the entire game, to resolve it into its simple elements by seeing the utter pointlessness of being attached to the outcome of any game.
So a Taoist can play chess, and may even be good at it, but cares less and less about who wins in the end. A Taoist finds humor in his/her losses.
To be free of attachment to the outcomes of any situation is an important element of freedom itself.