Chess has had an immense impact on my life. I grew up spending my weekends at an 8x8 board. I read more chess books than novels. I started so early that I don’t even remember learning the rules.
For better or worse, I quit by the time I was 12 and haven’t played competitively since. Yet, it was only recently that I recognized the impact of this game on my life.
Chess is an incredible source of imagination. It is so vast and complex that people can play for decades and continue to learn. It is a game of analysis and forethought. Each move is both an action and a reaction. And while there are rarely “correct” moves, each match teaches you how to operate under uncertainty and lack of full control. The board is the equalizer.
As Susan Polgar says, “Chess is a miniature version of life. To be successful, you need to be disciplined, assess resources, consider responsible choices, and adjust when circumstances change.”
People often think that chess masters are born as such. But the reality is that no one starts as a chess master. They work hard, study, and become a student of the game. They learn that chess isn’t just about aggression, but tactical progression, while mitigating risk. They learn approaches (openings) that work best for them and study their opponents. They learn to win.
“Every chess master was once a beginner.” – Irving Chernev
I think many of the same lessons can be applied to life. Taking on new problems -- some familiar and some completely new -- and learning to tackle them better each time. Perhaps that’s why so many of my childhood competitors have gone onto impressive pastures, from working in venture capital to becoming a famous Twitch streamer.
The scholarship is open to chess players of any level.
This scholarship is part of a 12-part Amplify Scholarship Series, spanning topics including women in tech, continuous learning, environmental science, and more. These scholarships are announced quarterly and awarded monthly throughout 2021. Follow along here!
“You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” – José Raúl Capablanca
What have you learned from playing chess and how do you hope to utilize those learnings to achieve your goals? Please be specific and focus on achievable goals that you are already working toward.
The application deadline is Jun 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jul 2, 2021.
The scholarship award is $500.
The winner will be publicly announced on Jul 2, 2021. Prior to the announcement date, we may contact finalists with additional questions about their application. We will work with donors to review all applications according to the scholarship criteria. Winners will be chosen based on the merit of their application.
We will send the award check to the financial aid office of the winner’s academic institution or future academic institution in their name, and in the name of their institution (depending on the school’s requirements). If the student's academic institution does not have a financial aid office, the student will receive the funding directly.
Before we award the scholarship, the winner will be required to verify their academic enrollment status by providing a copy of their most recent transcript.
If you have any questions about this scholarship or the Bold.org platform, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.
Yes. The terms and conditions for this scholarship can be found here.