The Syria Crisis: a good time for CHESS ?!
CHESS MASTER versus CHESS AMATEUR?!
With the drama of the Syrian civil war becoming the world’s centre of attention in recent weeks, and especially Obama’s threat to escalate the stakes by the senseless use of brute force , most sane people in the world have welcomed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic skills in , for atleast temporarily, defusing the crisis. Putin has got America to back off.
Funny thing is that even the most hawkish observers have come to recognize Putin’s achievement and are now comparing the Obama vs Putin clash to a game of chess! And one where Obama is looking like an inept club amateur…hundreds of analysts, newspapers and websites have started to make use of chess on a scale not seen since perhaps the Fischer vs Spassky match of 1972. Time will tell if this is a blessing in desguise for our noble game…or just one more nail in it’s coffin!
‘The incredible story of how the Putin used secret KGB chess tactics to outwit the US!’
”Russia’s incredibly quick response to John Kerry’s suggestion yesterday that Syria could avert a US strike if it handed its chemical weapons was a masterful tactical move by the Kremlin master. Putin instructed his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to make a statement that Russia will ensure that Syria will surrender and agree to the destruction of its chemical weapon, extending a process a lifeline to president Obama who was struggling to convince US representatives of the necessity of attacking Syria.
Many commentators have pointed that Putin’s quick thinking has offered a convenient solution for all involved, but few have recognised the role that chess played in this incident. Keen enthusiast of the game will recognise that Putin’s proposal was a variation on the classic ‘Jabowntski sacrifice’, in which a functionally-degraded chess piece is sacrificed to create space for manoeuvre elsewhere. But that is only half the story.
Few people will know of the role chess played in Soviet strategic thinking and the various programmes that the USSR established to train its military and intelligence elites in the art of Zevsebia, or chess-think. Chess-think was for the USSR what game theory was for the US during the Cold War, but the Soviets went further than the Americans in making chess-think second nature to their cadres.
According to Soviet documents that were declassified in 2004, the first Zevsebia programme was initiated in 1932 when Stalin, an obsessive chess player, put the man who would later head the NKVD Beria in charge of running the programme. Beria recruited Russian chess grandmaster Kavlov, also a keen amateur boxer who won a bronze medal in the 1924 Olympics, and charged him with developing the outline of the programme.” READ MORE AT THE ABOVE LINK!
‘’Which brings us to the events of the past week and the question of which President is the better chess player, Obama or Putin? Russians have long been masters at formulating strategic chess moves, both on the chess board and on the world stage.Did Putin have the idea of putting Syria’s chemical weapons under UN control up his sleeve at the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg, but wait for the American President to make a few more moves? Did he then wait a few more days until it became more likely that the vote in congress would go against the use of force? Set him up for checkmate? Was Putin’s proposal and the timing of it, a major face-saving exercise for President Obama? If so will there be a cost attached and what will it cost? When and how must it be paid?My money is on the Russians coming out ahead in this game of high stakes chess.’’
Putin: xf5 to g5. Your move, Obama!