FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Political Chess

   
Author Topic: Political Chess
Reshpeckobiggle
Member
Member # 8947

 - posted      Profile for Reshpeckobiggle   Email Reshpeckobiggle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi everybody. I wrote this essay and I'm thinking of submitting it somewhere. Any suggestions? Any criticisms or maybe even some apt chess analogies that I might include?

quote:
Although I would not dare impugn the man's concern for the welfare of the country, John McCain's campaign suspension was almost certainly a political ploy; a tactical move in the game of political chess he is playing against Barack Obama. Putting aside political loyalties and ideological concerns, let us attempt to determine which man we want running the country by observing the figurative chess match the two are playing.

McCain is playing red; Obama blue. After initial posturing (including the early loss of blue’s bishops) the board is set and the middlegame begins. The initial appearance of quiet positional play by red becomes a sudden and daring game of aggressive strategy. We see a beautiful feint that leads blue (and everyone else) to believe that Mitt Romney was a shoe-in for VP, therefore the preemptive defensive posture adopted by blue in naming Biden the queen piece. But red’s Réti opening was in fact the Latvian Gambit in disguise! Blue never saw the red queen coming.

The naming of Sarah Palin as red queen completely decimates blue’s attack strategy. If the blue player attempts to take the red queen with his weak knight of experience (poorly positioned by Obama’s odd choice to campaign for president in Europe), he places himself in check because the red king's mighty rook of experience has him pinned down. The blue king is forced into a blocking game with the red queen and loses his positional advantage.

Now the red king appears to be forced into a strategy of retreat under renewed aggression by the blue pawns of Hollywood and the media, who are blindly attacking the agile red queen. But then imminent economic collapse presents an unlikely opportunity for the red king. He makes a truly bold move, one that appears at first to be the result of distraction, made with little foresight or planning. He castles, hiding behind his rook. An obvious opening presents itself (“the President needs to deal with more than one thing at once”) and the red pawn of multi-tasking is captured. Oh! but the bumbling blue player has exposed a valuable piece! His rook is the public’s perception that Obama is better suited to handle the economy. It’s a crucial piece at this stage of the game, perfectly positioned when the economic crisis hit. That rook is about to be captured.

There are murmurings that the blue player is going to sacrifice his queen piece ---which at this point has neutralized itself with repeated gaffes--- under the guise of a sudden illness that will befall Joe Biden, forcing him to retire from the presidential race. This will allow an opening for a blue pawn named Hillary to reach the first rank and become a new queen piece.

This is such an obvious combination move that the superior red player sees it already and almost certainly has an answering strategy prepared. Unfortunately for the blue king, she could end up actually being an impediment to the endgame strategy of the blue player. This is because the blue pawn is married to a red knight named Bill. He is in a position to keep the new blue queen pinned down behind enemy lines. The blue player might be hoping that the pawn’s husband will start supporting him instead if he promotes her to queen. However, the red knight used to be a blue king piece, and unlike the current blue king, that knight is capable of looking more than one move ahead. If the current blue king is checkmated, the red knight’s wife will get the opportunity to be the king piece in four years. Besides, the red knight likes the red king; he respects and admires him. He does not feel the same way about the blue king.


Ok, so my analogy started breaking down toward the end. But I think it's valuable to think of the presidential race in these terms because it illuminates the true decision we must make this November. Barack Obama is new to the game of political chess. Regardless of his qualifications, intentions and charisma, do we really want a novice playing against all those chessmasters in OPEC, behind the CEO's desk of the corporations, at the UN, in the United States Congress, in Iran, China, and the mountains of Afghanistan?


Posts: 1286 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mccain

And that's all I really have to say about this.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that by giving in to the temptation to think of politics as a team sport, you've let your biases tromp all over your good sense.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reshpeckobiggle
Member
Member # 8947

 - posted      Profile for Reshpeckobiggle   Email Reshpeckobiggle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You don't think politics are played like a team sport?
Posts: 1286 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, in chess every piece on the same side has the same ambitions, can never revolt, and always follows orders. These things are rather important to model in politics.

There is some appeal in modelling politics as chess though since I've always felt that elections are somewhat of a controlled proxy for civil war, that they solve the succession problem that is an issue for non-democracies.

Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Politics are only played like a team sport when the players forget that we're all on the same team, that either everybody wins or everybody loses.

This is exactly what went wrong with the Bush administration - they manipulated things to create a system so that they always got their way, whether they were right or wrong. If the facts were not on their side, they didn't present the facts. And so, in the short run they "won" (if by win we mean they got their way.) But in the long run we all lost - and most of all the Republicans lost, as their party is now semi-permanently associated with a series of disasterous mistakes.

This is the truth that political players seem to forget: When you are wrong, it is better if you don't get your way. If you're supporting a bad law, it is better if you don't get it passed. If you've put up a poor candidate who will do a bad job, it is better if he or she doesn't get elected. In the long run, getting your way in politics when you are wrong only does two things:
1) Makes everybody pay the consequences
2) Generally results in you getting blamed in the long run

The goal of a political party should not be to always "win", right or wrong. The goal should be to foster a system in which the true, best solutions always win - and then to attempt to align your party's views with that truth.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reshpeckobiggle
Member
Member # 8947

 - posted      Profile for Reshpeckobiggle   Email Reshpeckobiggle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not trying to make chess as complicated as politics. I'm trying to represent certain political maneuverings as having the elegance of a chess game.

Tresopax, our freedom of speech allows for a marketplace of ideas, and competition in that marketplace could conceivably engender excellence. So a spirit of competition in politics could be considered a good thing.

I don't think that's how I'd describe the politics of today, however - as having a "spirit of competition."

Edit to eliminate double-post

Posts: 1286 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Political Chess
Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Tresopax, our freedom of speech allows for a marketplace of ideas, and competition in that marketplace could conceivably engender excellence.
Do you believe the quality of president we're getting today, in this era of heightened competition, is higher than the quality of president we used to get?
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reshpeckobiggle
Member
Member # 8947

 - posted      Profile for Reshpeckobiggle   Email Reshpeckobiggle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, I think we peaked in the 40's and 50's. Other factors have had a corrupting influence on the talent pool, and the weeding-out process seems to have a way of removing from the running those best suited to leadership. That's why so many people became so enamored of Obama in the beginning. A stately demeanor used to be a prerequisite for a politician (dancing on the Ellen DeGeneres show notwithstanding.)

That being said, I think McCain is a throwback to the old days when personal honor (rather than ambition) and dedication to the whole nation (rather than a political party or divisive ideology) were presidential standards. He's not the embodiment of those virtues to be sure, but he does a better job of it than nearly any other politician I can think of. And stateliness is something he does manage to pull off to a certain degree (singing Streisand on SNL also notwithstanding.)

Posts: 1286 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Itsame
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for Itsame           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a chess player, I am offended. I'll allow the blue and red rather than white an black but...

"But red’s Réti opening was in fact the Latvian Gambit in disguise!"
That makes no sense whatsoever.
"he places himself in check because the red king's mighty rook of experience has him pinned down. "
Maybe you meant something different here.
It seems that you just took a bunch of words from chess terminology and threw them together here.

Posts: 2705 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The use of chess terminology is used poorly here in an attempt to oversimplify and dramatize the campaign. What kind of chess game goes on for a while before introducing new pieces? What political campaign uses reti openings that turn out to be 'gambits in disguise?' How do you place yourself in check? Why are some pieces individuals and others vague concepts attached as attributes of the king? Why are some pieces assured to be weaker than others? How does that work? What initial opening has you lose both your bishops and still keeps it as a game? Why is Wright a bishop and the entire American media a pawn?

People who only understand chess but not politics would be confused by this. People who understand politics but not chess would be confused by this. People who understand politics and chess would be more confused than anyone else.

This is a perilously written fluff piece.

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Pixiest
Member
Member # 1863

 - posted      Profile for The Pixiest   Email The Pixiest         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
What kind of chess game goes on for a while before introducing new pieces?

"Bug House"
Posts: 7085 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lem
Member
Member # 6914

 - posted      Profile for lem           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Your essay sounds like someone's confusing attempts to take talking points from the likes of Limbaugh and forcing them unsuccessfully (and somewhat confusingly) into a chess analogy to appear like the points are unbiased critical examinations of strategic moves that show McCain and his queen are superior players.

Sounds like a partisan hack job bundled in a bad analogy. The kicker is it seems to defeat it's own analogy.

quote:
Barack Obama is new to the game of political chess. Regardless of his qualifications, intentions and charisma, do we really want a novice playing against all those chessmasters in...
If it is all about studying successful chess maneuvers to see who plays the game better, then the election results will show us the true chess master. If Obama wins then surely (according to your analogy) he is better equipped to handle players in "OPEC, behind the CEO's desk of the corporations, at the UN, in the United States Congress, in Iran, China, and the mountains of Afghanistan."

Does this mean you will throw your support enthusiastically behind the better chess player and recognize his superiority, even if it isn't McCain?

***

*Note: Reshpeckobiggle, when I read your political posts they make me feel dirty and disgusted. It is not you tho, and I apologize if it comes across that way. I live in a small town that doesn't get much radio and for a couple years I listened to Rush Limbaugh. I was never a ditto-head, but I know the lingo.

Before Bush's first term I was happy with his rhetoric (you remember--no nation building, working across the isle, decrease the size of government, good conservative fiscal values that treated this country with respect).

Before his second term I listened to Rush a lot. I didn't agree but I like his fiscal conservative values [Roll Eyes] and I found him funny. I voted for Bush the second time.

I got caught up in the rhetoric and fear. It was never pro-Bush, just anti Kerry. Since then I have totally abandoned the republican party, but I'm no democrat. It's a shell of what I thought it was. I wont' get into my disappointments, but I regret any time I gave Rush.

When I read your words on politics, it sounds like a ditto head. My harshness is not against you personally. It is against the system. It is disgust with Limbaugh and what republicans have done to themselves. I find him to be a whore and I am grateful I realized that before I got any mental STDs.

Most importantly my harshness is against myself for the possibility that the likes of Limbaugh affected my voting decision. *shudder*

Posts: 2445 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Itsame
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for Itsame           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://jennifershahade.com/site/2008/09/23/obama-plays-chess-against-mccain/
Posts: 2705 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Tresopax, our freedom of speech allows for a marketplace of ideas, and competition in that marketplace could conceivably engender excellence.
Do you believe the quality of president we're getting today, in this era of heightened competition, is higher than the quality of president we used to get?
Yes, but it depends on who you are comparing it to. The 19th century saw I think the worst collection of presidents that the United States has ever had, and mixed in there was also possibly the best collection of presidents we've ever had. I think by and large the 20th century didn't have these glaringly bad presidents. I don't the 20th century had anyone that could match Andrew Johnson's awfulness.

I think the problem is that our current process yes, generally weeds out the absolute worst presidents, but it also generally weeds out the absolute best presidents too. Sure, bad presidents still slip through, as do good ones, but for the most part this system ensures that we get A. Unpredictable presidents. B. Middle of the road presidents.

I think the reason that is so, is that for the last couple decades the people have by and large, for better or for worse, chosen candidates. The smoke filled back room for the most part is gone, or at least, their power has been removed a bit. They pretty much used to choose the presidents and their running mates, now at best they get to choose the pool that we the people choose from.

This have changed rather drastically from how they used to be in presidential politics, but it's hard to say that we're getting better or worse presidents than we used to considering the first century of our country had both the best and worst presidents we've ever had, arguably.

Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yer crazy.

(only a bit more than me)

Posts: 1574 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nighthawk
Member
Member # 4176

 - posted      Profile for Nighthawk   Email Nighthawk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
What kind of chess game goes on for a while before introducing new pieces?

"Bug House"
I don't know... Every time I use to play that every piece was on my board in minutes.
Posts: 3486 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
the best and worst presidents we've ever had, arguably. [/QB]
Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt are consistently ranked at the top of lists made by academic historians and political scientists.

Warren G. Harding, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan are consistently the worst, with Buchanan (understandably) having a huge 'lead' in being the worst.

good fill, I guess?

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Itsame
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for Itsame           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
What kind of chess game goes on for a while before introducing new pieces?

"Bug House"
I don't know... Every time I use to play that every piece was on my board in minutes.
Eh, I know some people who like to try to ride out an attack while collecting pieces, then drop em in a huge wave. Mind you, this is crazyhouse, not bughouse. I've never been a big bug player.
Posts: 2705 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reshpeckobiggle
Member
Member # 8947

 - posted      Profile for Reshpeckobiggle   Email Reshpeckobiggle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
As a chess player, I am offended. I'll allow the blue and red rather than white an black but...

"But red’s Réti opening was in fact the Latvian Gambit in disguise!"
That makes no sense whatsoever.
"he places himself in check because the red king's mighty rook of experience has him pinned down. "
Maybe you meant something different here.
It seems that you just took a bunch of words from chess terminology and threw them together here.

I was confusing the Latvian Gambit with any number of Gambits that involve a standard 1.e4 e5 2. nf3 opening, only begun with the Reti opening (1.nf3 e5 2.e4.) The idea is that black is lulled into thinking his opponent will be playing a defensive opening game, and then is given the ol' switcheroo. Thank! That's why I posted it here first!

What I meant is that the blue king would presumably be placing himself in check by attacking the red queen with his knight, because the knight is blocking the red rook. Ever have someone start to make a move and you had to say, "no, that puts you in check." That was what happened when the attacks on Palin's lack of experience began. It opened Obama up to the experience argument, in which McCain has the advantage. I may be able to phrase it better than I did.

quote:
Does this mean you will throw your support enthusiastically behind the better chess player and recognize his superiority, even if it isn't McCain?

No, I support McCain for many reasons. The subtlety and deftness of his campaign does make me hopeful about the ability of his and his advisers to handle all the political machinations a president must expect, but the main thrust of my analogy is to illustrate the ham-handed and short-sighted manner in which Obama has yun his campaign.

quote:
If it is all about studying successful chess maneuvers to see who plays the game better, then the election results will show us the true chess master.
That's a tautology, just like survival of the fittest. We know what traits are best suited for survival because the fact of their survival proves their superiority. If Obama wins, it is because he is the better political chess player. What makes hims the better player? The fact that he wins.

No, if Obama wins it will not because he is better at the game. There is more at play here. I just wished to illustrate the danger of electing someone so predictable and inexperienced.

quote:
What kind of chess game goes on for a while before introducing new pieces?
I didn't mean to imply that, I'll see about fixing it.
quote:
What political campaign uses reti openings that turn out to be 'gambits in disguise?'
MaCain's.
quote:
How do you place yourself in check?
You don't. That's why when the queen placed the king in check, the knight couldn't take the queen.
quote:

Why are some pieces individuals and others vague concepts attached as attributes of the king?

Because it's my analogy, and I can make it however I want. If I want this knight to represent an attribute of the king, and this pawn to represent an ally of the king, and this rook to represent a feature of society that works for the king, then who are you to say that I cant?[/quote]

quote:
Why are some pieces assured to be weaker than others? How does that work?
You don't actually play chess, do you? You're not qualified to criticize my analogy at all!

quote:
What initial opening has you lose both your bishops and still keeps it as a game?
One that requires you to use a modicum of imagination so that you can effectively interpret metaphors.
quote:
Why is Wright a bishop and the entire American media a pawn?
EXCELLENT QUESTION!!! I wish I had an answer to that.

[ September 29, 2008, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: Reshpeckobiggle ]

Posts: 1286 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
You don't. That's why when the queen placed the king in check, the knight couldn't take the queen.
In a chess game you cannot make a move that puts yourself in check. You're phrasing it wrong through tense. 'he would put himself in check' is already infinitely better!

quote:
You don't actually play chess, do you? You're not qualified to criticize my analogy at all!
Lol. I actually started when I was 4 and took part in school championships and have played more than my fair share of chess.

What I'm talking about in all these questions is: your metaphors are vague and crude and not very good.

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I just wished to illustrate the danger of electing someone so predictable and inexperienced.
Good thing McCain's Queen--Gov. Palin--has all that experience and isn't predictable at all.
Posts: 1941 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MrSquicky
Member
Member # 1802

 - posted      Profile for MrSquicky   Email MrSquicky         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I just wished to illustrate the danger of electing someone so predictable and inexperienced.
And you're doing a bang up job.

I couldn't help but think as I read this "Wow, this is a masterful analysis written by someone with great knowledge of both politics and chess."

Bravo sir. Could I request that your next opus compare the election to a game of Backgammon?

Posts: 10177 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The weak Obama position of 'not rolling doubles' ...
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Itsame
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for Itsame           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I was confusing the Latvian Gambit with any number of Gambits that involve a standard 1.e4 e5 2. nf3 opening, only begun with the Reti opening (1.nf3 e5 2.e4.) The idea is that black is lulled into thinking his opponent will be playing a defensive opening game, and then is given the ol' switcheroo. Thank! That's why I posted it here first!"

See, if I was white... then I would play 2. Nxe5 and black would feel like a moron.

"Ever have someone start to make a move and you had to say, "no, that puts you in check.""

No.

Posts: 2705 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems to this observer that Red's "Agile" queen is being guarded by the king, not venturing to attack or defend unless the King is their to protect her.

If fact, when pressured, she has forced the king to retreat in order to cover the queen from being taken.

While I have yet to hear a rumor of Biden being dropped as Dem VP that didn't start and end with some AM Talk Radio host, I have heard calls from several of the Red's pieces requesting that the Red Queen be replaced.

Posts: 1941 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nighthawk
Member
Member # 4176

 - posted      Profile for Nighthawk   Email Nighthawk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Queen to queen's level three.
Posts: 3486 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reshpeckobiggle
Member
Member # 8947

 - posted      Profile for Reshpeckobiggle   Email Reshpeckobiggle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Darth. You're feeling the spirit!
Posts: 1286 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2