Coping with Struggle via Chess

202 Checkmates is an action-packed story with tons of insight into the game of chess, financial crisis, and a difference in parenting styles. Within this short story, the reader is thrown into the relationship and life of a daughter and father. Both of these characters have a strong bond with the game of chess, and at times, use it to cope with outside struggles. Throughout the short story we are shown multiple games of chess and how at times, we lose ourselves in something of passion and joy. Regardless of the financial struggles that the father faces, he is able to use chess as a positive device to combat his rather difficult lifestyle.

As the story transitions, we learn that the father creates issues inside and outside of the household setting. This is evident through the mother’s disapproval of the father’s work ethic and the game of chess. The mom goes on to claim that “Chess doesn’t get work done”, reinforcing the idea that the father’s passion for the game is perhaps a waste of time. The conflicting relationship between the mother and father in the story hone in on how parental influence and marriage conflict directly affect the child. In this case, the daughter distances herself from the father as he starts to become absent in their household. All in all, 202 Checkmates is a short story full of real-life struggles and how we deal with difficulties.

4 thoughts on “Coping with Struggle via Chess

  1. Meredith M.

    This is a really well thought out response to the story. I completely agree, and it was really interesting how the author portrayed everyday struggles through chess.


  2. OLIVIA T.

    I fully agree with your thoughts on the story. I like how the author doesn’t just state that “chess is like real life” but really shows it through the story.


  3. Maria L.

    I really like your perspective on how the relationship between the narrator’s mother and father affected her. I agree that the author shows the father’s passion for chess and he uses it as an outlet for his financial struggles.


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