What’s your next move? - Magnus Carlsen

World Chess Championships, 2013. In Chennai, local favourite and reigning champion, Viswanathan Anand was being challenged by the young and dynamic Norwegian grand-master, Magnus Carlsen. Record audiences were glued to the TV screens and millions followed the match worldwide.

After 10 gruelling rounds of chess, a disappointed Anand finally called it in. It was over! Magnus Carlsen was the new world champion.

Magnus was a wonder kid. Born in Tonsberg, Norway in 1990, he showed extraordinary aptitude for intellectual challenges. By the age of 5 he could remember areas, populations, flags and capitals of all the countries of the world and every detail of all the municipalities in Norway! His father encouraged him to take up chess and Magnus excelled in the game. He won tournament after tournament and often competed with players thrice his age. In 2004 at the age of 14, he became a grand-master, the highest title in Chess. In 2010, he became the youngest player to become world no.1 at the age of 19.


In an interview, Magnus revealed that he could remember the position of the pieces on the chess board for all the games that he has played and also important games involving other players. He regularly plays 10-15 amateur players blindfolded and defeats them all! The key to Magnus’ success is his ability to predict the board ahead.

He claims that he foresees the moves and counter moves of his opponent up-to 15 moves ahead. He pictures the end board as he makes his current move. Now that is a truly remarkable feat!

Life is often compared to a game of chess. There are billions of possible moves in chess. Even the best of players cannot foresee all of them. So it is with our lives. The advances, the retreats, the gains, the losses; it all seems so uncertain. We would love to know our future and what it has in store for us. But in reality we hardly know what will happen in the next moment or the next best step ahead. Unlike Carlsen in a game, none of us can picture the end of our lives and how it will be? Will we have won the game or lost it? Many lose hope looking into the future and often end their lives in despair. In the book of Jeremiah in the Bible, God offers hope to a hopeless people. The land was invaded by the Babylonians. The war was lost and now they were taken as exiles in a foreign land. Even in the most desperate of times,

God says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God knows all our moves ahead. He is the ultimate Grand-master! He knows how our life will look like in the years ahead. Isn’t it wise to submit our plans to him and allow him to lead us? God is willing and able to direct our lives to our glorious destiny. He will lead us in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. We may not know all the moves but we can trust in the one who does.

May we allow the moves of our life to be directed the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the End! So what is your next move?

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