What’s chess got to do with it?

The Morning Brew explains ….

It’s a question we get all the time: what do some of Wall St.’s biggest names do in their spare time?

Well, we did some digging…and it’s not binge Fuller House. They play chess with a guy named Lev Alburt, a world Grandmaster and three-peat winner of the U.S. chess championship.

Now, what lessons can a 72-year-old chess Grandmaster impart on Wall St. bigwigs?

Evidently, a whole lot. Chess and trading both involve game theory, brinksmanship, and the ability to weigh risk-reward. Experts need to make “quick decisions in by definition uncertain circumstances,” says Alburt.

In fact, chess’ connection with finance is a lot stronger than you might think. A few years back, Bill Ackman joined hundreds at the Sohn Investment Conference to watch world #1 Magnus Carlsen defeat three opponents…blindfolded (it cost $5,000). And some of the most well-known investors (like George Soros and Peter Thiel) are very, very good at the game: they’ll dismantle your measly Sicilian Defense with a vigorous Yugoslav Attack.

So if you have ambitions in finance, you might want to start with chess.

By Desiree Wilson
Desiree Wilson Associate Director, Employer Services Profile Picture