Chess strategy – parallels in Innovation and Marketing

Kasparov won the world chess champion when he was just 22 years old. According to Americas Foundation for Chess, the first possible 12 moves by both sides is over a trillion, thats one and 12 noughts – 1,000,000,000,000. No wonder it took a computer, Deep Blue (by IBM) that could calculate a 100 million moves a second to finally beat Kasparov. Even, then it only just won by one game. Kasparov says that at this level – instinct combines with his powerful analytical skills. Perhaps there is a formula for bringing elements of Chess to have a bearing on Innovation and Marketing strategies? I believe there is some merit in this thinking.

At the other end of the scale, I was fortunate to win the Liverpool Chess Congress when I was 15 years old.  I even managed to play some Chess Grand Masters (and lost). Little did I know, however, that this experience prepared the way for me to have insights into strategies that would apply to business and marketing strategies.

When we began advising businesses in innovations and marketing strategies – it was clear that there were parallels in chess for better more incisive decision making. For example, in business you have to know your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the competition. You also have to have a passion for what you do. The environment (the market) plays a significant role and you have to trust your instincts that don’t just rely on data. In business, as in Chess relying on your best guess isn’t good enough, you have to have a plan, a strategy. A strategy that is flexible, so that you think on your feet – but one that requires you to be daring to and making bold moves to be successful.

There is a winning mindset that can be based on Chess strategy. Chess is always focused with the end game in mind – to win. The lines of force that bring connections together in a future scenario, like Check, need to thought out in advance – predetermined. 

Manipulating the processes that make success inevitable should be the goal – not being distracted by mediocrity and mediocre moves.

The key is develop a mindset based on very similar characteristics to a Chess champion, one of opportunism, courage, passion, analytical skills, and decisiveness –  Its your move!