What An Indonesian 11-Year-Old Taught Me About the Power of Technology

Alex Holyoake

Alex Holyoake

I play one game of online chess each day. In today's game, I was reminded of an important lesson. 

Sorry to disappoint the traders amongst you but, no, it wasn't a Sun Tzu/Buddy Fox style nonsensical insight such as: 

The stronger you are, the more vulnerable you can be. 


Sacrifices must sometimes be made for the greater good. 

It was simpler than that and infinitely more important.

The lesson I learned was that in this day and age, thanks to technology, it's possible to get so humiliatingly defeated and excruciatingly embarrassed in 2 minutes and 12 moves by an 11-year-old trash-talker from Indonesia that you actually have to stop yourself from screaming out loud in frustration whilst sitting on a crowded train. Technology is that powerful.

From 7,000 miles away, with a wink emoji and Qxh2, Irfan666 caused me to hate him. Visceral hatred, nothing else. I was raging. But, in the nick of time, I also remembered that technology was how I met my wife. And that made me feel a whole lot better.

Technology brings people together from all over the world (dating, messaging, chess). It can also tear them apart (most social media, most forums, chess). And it can do this in a matter of seconds. One tweet. One swipe. One photo. One mouthy 11-year old.

That’s the power of technology. Hate. Love. And everything in between.

Well played, Irfan, son. I’ll have you tomorrow, you little &%$!*@.

Edward Playfair