I pity those who don't play chess. It's a game that's centuries old but as timeless as a good love poem. It's a game of intellect and emotion, strategy and tactics, offense and defense and of speed and patience.

But mostly chess is a game about people. Like life itself, when all else is stripped away there are just people standing on the playing field.

We have the pawn, slow, dumb but dangerous in numbers. We have the knight, valiant, brave, unorthodox and willing to leap over the tallest obstacle to save the day. We have the bishop, righteous and true with far-reaching powers, but only along the strait and narrow path his philosophies allow him to take. Then we have the rook, the brave and bulky defender who will plunge ahead into combat at any time to defend his king.

Then comes the pieces that make the game what it is. First, there's the queen, sexy and wise she reaches to all fields of play effortlessly slaughtering much stronger men with nothing but her wit and her guile. There there's the king, weak, slow and frail but ultimately the most important piece of the game.

It's odd that the king is the one the game pivots on. One can lose their other precious pieces but then through a brilliant attack take their king and win the game. It's not a matter of how much you kill or how much damage you do, it's who you kill that counts.

But then again that's the way life is, with it's important figures we must protect. That's why it's fair to say that the world must stop when the king is in check because the world will end if the king is in checkmate.

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