Managing Risks with Circumspection | Business Lessons from the World Chess Championship Match Carlsen – Karjakin, Part 4

Carlsen – Karjakin, Game 8, New York 2016On Monday, 21 November, the world chess championship match between titleholder Magnus Carlsen and his challenger Sergey Karjakin saw the first decided game after seven draws. Game 8 took a dramatic course and ended in a win for Karjakin with the black pieces after 52 moves.

The game perfectly illustrates the fourth success principle from my book on the seven success principles of chess masters: Chess champions manage risks with circumspection. While Karjakin demonstrated his excellent ability of limiting his risk while maintaining good options, Carlsen took high risks in return for low potential rewards.

In an equal position, Carlsen repeatedly tried to complicate the game to avoid another draw. His determination to win with the white pieces led him to ignore the counter chances of his opponent. That was unusual, as it is normally Carlsen who puts his opponents under pressure without exposing himself to a high risk of losing. Karjakin on the other hand, avoided any risky continuation, even if it looked very promising.

Business lesson

In the hope of high returns, some entrepreneurs enter high risks without weighing the risks against the opportunities. Being an entrepreneur in itself involves certainly involves a certain degree of risk. However, what distinguishes excellent entrepreneurs from most others is their ability to pursue promising opportunities while at the same time limiting their risks. They pursue opportunities without turning blind to the threats along the way. Master the art of actively seeking business opportunities with circumspection. If you anticipate risks, you can avoid them or contain their impact.