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The perfect relationship between chess and soccer.

Have you ever played chess?

Hope so!

Chess, in my opinion, is the greatest game ever for a very simple reason: it is not based on OPINIONS or BLUFFS! It’s a precise science. So, if you want to win, you have to…………..STUDY!

I believe that soccer strategy is quite similar to this.

All chess players – which is VERY different from just playing chess (just as being a soccer player is VERY different from just playing soccer!!!) --- knows a very simple concept: the one who plays with the white pieces will win unless he/she will made a mistake.


Because the white has the first move!

Every real chess player, that (I repeat) is NOT someone that just plays chess, knows another simple concept: a chess game is a battle, but it is an ‘unconventional’ one. When the white ‘moves’, he brings an attack! So, the black, can only do one thing and that thing is to……………………defend! If he/she made the horrible mistake to attack too, it will be a chess ’massacre’ for him/her!

A chess game is simply this: white move to attack, black move to defend and neutralize that attack. White attack again, black defend again. I said that it is an ’unconventional’ battle, because white and black are not allowed to continually move, but the moves are one on each side, and until the white does not make a mistake, there is no way to change the ’course’ of the game and black can only draw (tie). So, where is the ability? How the black can change the path of a game?

There is only one way: while defending, try to force the white to make a mistake!

I’ll try to transfer the concept above to soccer. Try to see this action: the ball go from the keeper of the white team to an external defender/back. Black team tries to win it back. White he/she will pass to a midfielder that in his/her turn will made a great assist to a forward, that in his/her turn, will shoot and possibly…………………………….score! (While the black team can only try to forbid them to do it. They DON’T have the ball so, they can only TRY!)

What is the relationship with chess? Is not evident? White had the first move, so the white team has the same advantage: they have the……BALL (the first move!), so they can score!

How the black team can do the same NOT HAVING THE BALL???

So, in theory, if the team that has the ball will do all the right ’moves’, in a few passes they will score, like the white in a few moves will………checkmate!

So, why this doesn’t happen all the times?

You don’t have the answer yet?

It doesn’t happen every time, like in chess, because the team that has the ball, that has the ’move’, made a MISTAKE! That is the problem!

When a team has the ball, they are in the perfect situation to score. Every time. They don’t do that because they make mistakes!

Try to visualize the perfect action that I underlined above and compare it to the following ones:

-The keeper, instead to give a good long ball to the outside defender, kick the ball just a few dozen yards forward, straight to the foot of the forward of the other team.

-If the keeper gives a good ball to the defender, the defender makes a mess because he/she is unable to make a decent trap, look forward and reach a midfielder that is unmarked! So, he/she ends up loosing the ball, the other team get it and……………………goodbye!

-Supposing that the first 2 situations were good, but the midfielder doesn’t know how to control the ball, and how to turn, and raise his/her eyes, looking forward and give a good assist to the forwards so, goodbye……….again!

-Supposing that the 3 situations above went well, but the forwards don’t know how to shoot properly so, instead of scoring, they shoot out of play or even worse, pass the ball to the opponent keeper!

Like in chess, the magic situation in which the white (the team) had the advantage to ‘move’ is gone. Now, the black team has the ‘move’ and if they do the correct ‘moves’, in a few ‘moves’ they will have they well deserved checkmate!

As I stated at the beginning, soccer strategy, like chess strategy, is a precise science not based on opinions. Unfortunately, too many ’players’ that just ’play chess’, are convinced they are chess players, like too many ‘players’ that just ‘play’ soccer, are convinced to be soccer players.

Chess players study and practice:

-The openings. The most common are more than a dozen, with many variations for each of them.
-Through these openings, very soon they will control the center of the chess board.
-Through the control of the center of the chess board, they will launch an attack to one side of the board to hide a deadly attack to the other side of the board that, in a few moves, will lead to a sure, mathematical, not debatable and definitive…………checkmate!

Soccer players study and practice:

-The openings. A good pass from the keeper to an outside defender/back or to a midfielder that will easily control the ball and look forward.
-Through these openings, they will control the center of the soccer field.
-Through the control of the center of the soccer field, they will launch an attack to one side of the field to hide a deadly attack to the other side of the soccer field that, in a few pass, by switching field, will lead to a sure, mathematical, not debatable and definitive………………goal!

So, you want to be a chess player?


You want to be a soccer player?


If not, you can just continue to play chess or soccer, and both of them are really fun anyway!

Coach Gianni

Posted on 15 Jan 2008 by coachgianni
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