The chess game

By Paulo Coelho

A young man said to the abbot from the monastery:

– I’d actually like to be a monk, but I haven’t learned anything in life. All my father taught me was to play chess, which does not lead to enlightenment. Apart from that, I learned that all games are a sin.

– They may be a sin but they can also be a diversion, and who knows, this monastery needs a little of both – was the reply.

The abbot asked for a chess board, sent for a monk and told him to play the young man.

But before the game began, he added:

– Although we need diversion, we cannot allow everyone to play chess the whole time. So, we only have the best players here; if our monk loses, he will leave the monastery and his place will be yours.

The abbot was serious. The young man knew he was playing for his life, and broke into a cold sweat; the chess board became the center of the world.

The monk began badly. The young man attacked, but then saw the saintly look on the other man’s face; at that moment, he began playing badly on purpose. After all, he would rather lose, a monk is far more useful to the world.

Suddenly, the abbot threw the chess board to the floor.

– You have learned far more than was taught you – he said. – You concentrated yourself enough to win, were capable of fighting for that which you desire. Then, you had compassion, and were willing to make a sacrifice in the name of a noble cause. Welcome to the monastery, because you know how to balance discipline with compassion.

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  1. chess says:

    Nice story, I didn’t know that one. A great lesson of life also.

  2. Joshua Yen says:

    nice! Great story.

  3. Chess says:

    The boy learned some of his sacrifices also on the game of chess. In the game of chess you need some sacrifices to get some better intentions. Nice story this gives me a lesson for a day.

  4. wanbliska says:


    King’s fool wears a costume, make-up and bells on his hat. Maybe for he doesn’t need to show himself.

    Great night to all of You.

  5. Alexandra says:

    How I loved that story.I dont want to boast,but the young me almost resembled me.I hope I will have the fortune to realize my dream too.I still have a Question :where do you find these stories,or is your own creation?

  6. Tania says:

    which = humble .I always love the look on children’s faces when they want to win a game ,its hard to win against a small child with their eyes so bright and full of light ..
    Blessings Tania

  7. Daisy says:

    ME, probably
    but you know that the bible says
    God will make the wisdom of man as foolishness to those without the Spirit.
    Love x

  8. wanbliska says:

    Who’s the King’s fool?

  9. hope says:

    Oh i love this story,beautiful