Instead, in silence, players are left wielding only their thoughts as weapons against one another. In the midst of a chess match, status and gender simply melt away. The chessboard is a level playing field depending purely on the ideas of the two opponents, who totally absorb themselves in a make-believe world that in principle mirrors real life and is neck-high in analysis, risk, and calculation.
It suffices to say that this wonderful and enigmatic game has transformed me. It has given me psychological strength. It has made me proud to be the only girl in the room. It has taught me that there is usually more than one solution to a problem. It has made me into a player who views defeat as a greater gain than most wins, as learning from your mistakes is a sure path to self-improvement. For all these reasons and so much more, I thank you, chess.
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