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Friday, September 3, 2010

Chess and web design: What's the connection?

Hi Everyone,

This is something really new. A freelance web designer Alexander Dawson has gone on and made a detailed connection between chess and web design. Very creative. The article appears in the online 'Smashing' magazine.

Dawson writes:

"So many aspects of the Web industry (such as syntax, design and ideals) change constantly, but the fundamental principles of learning, growing and trying your best often mean the difference between failure and success. Try to incorporate lessons from the chessboard into your own work; while having all the pieces doesn’t guarantee victory, having the basic skills will give you the confidence and awareness that you need to succeed."

He picks up each piece on the chessboard and gives an analogy for web designing.

The pawn teaches you:
  • Don’t get stuck using deprecated practices when structuring website code.
  • Examine your community to determine needed features for future upgrades.
  • Change a website’s interface only if it would benefit the user experience.
For the rook, Dawson writes:

A rook represents strength and structure. The castle of stone might be restricted in its interactions on the chessboard, but its value is in its character. Websites need to be constructed well in order to survive the trials of everyday use.

And, for the knight he writes:

Our uniqueness, whether as it is applies to our creative process, our products or our ability to solve common problems, is something we as professionals take for granted. We are able to incorporate creative flourishes when we forge applications, flourishes that can be tracked through the code (such as conditional comments, which give stylistic flavor to Internet Explorer). Like a white knight saving our sanity, our uniqueness helps us side-step issues that could otherwise become complicated.

For bishops, the interesting lesson is as follows:

The bishop, of course, is religious in nature, an agent in the battle between two sides. Faith in a religious sense is not needed to practice Web design, but as a quality of character it does play a part in one’s identity. Faith affects motivation and makes you believe in the project you’re spending so much time and effort on. If you have no faith in your craft, the job is doomed from the outset.

The detailed article can be found here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

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