A Game Of Chess With Real Lives At Stake

So what do you think, is life really like a football game….? Lot of people think so. You know, drawing parallels to the “game plan,” the “line of scrimmage,” the “long pass.” Especially to those action words like “execution” and “second effort” which bring the sales meetings cheering to their feet.

Between you and me, I scripted such meetings, but never quite believed the metaphor.

A better game might be chess. Here it’s not brute strength and gutsy gambles that count as much as cunning and keeping your opponent off their game by planning your moves many plays ahead. Seems to me, political parties and entire nations are forever playing chess with their opponents. Which in itself is harmless; except when they manipulate the lives of people with no more regard than they do chess pieces on the board.

Recently Dick Cheney’s aid, Scooter Libby, was charged with leaking news about CIA agent Valerie Plame…a few months ago Iran captured an American they are holding for a public spy-trial…a few years ago America sent pilot Gary Powers on a no-return mission over the USSR. Surely every year throughout history every king, president, prime minister and even pope has found reason to “sacrifice” someone’s career and/or life for…you guessed it, the “team.”

Our own master chess player, Richard Nixon, once captured this part of the game in one of his infamous mixed metaphors: “The pawns are left twisting slowly in the wind.”

The longer you live, the more resigned you are to this slimier part of the game of life. What’s still hard to accept is the gutless guile in the way the players brush away the fallen pawns with hollow claims that “they were willing to give their all.” They gave, yes; “willingly,” is a whole other game!

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  • But if politics were like chess, wouldn't women have more power, a la the Queen?
    And didn't Nixon once say, "I'm not a rook"? Pawn intended.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    It would take Aquinas to come up with that "rook" line. Nice!

  • I'll give you 10 out of 10 on that Aquinas ... can't top that ... !!

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