Using Chess Comparisons in Politics

Using Chess Comparisons in Politics

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I’ve never seen or heard so many chess references in a political campaign like this one for 2008.  Here are some of the samples of what I have seen or heard so far from quotes or headlines.

“McCain is playing checkers.  Obama is playing chess.” – Huffington Post and others 

Obama debated like he was playing chess.  McCain debated like he was playing checkers.”

Obama plays chess while McCain is playing shuffleboard.”

Obama’s playing chess and McCain’s playing Ants in the Pants.”  -

Obama plays chess and McCain isn’t quite sure what the horsie piece does.”  - TPM

Obama’s playing chess here.  McCain’s playing Kerplunk.”  - Slate

“The chess board isn’t aligned properly for McCain in any dimension.” – Miami Herald

“Smart chess being played here by the Obama group.  The McCain advisors would to well to take note.”

“Fact is, Obama has played this campaign like a game of chess.  It’s punch, counterpuch from this point on.”

Checkmate: McCain and Obama Play Chess.  “By his [McCain] move to  try and postpone the debates is a masterstroke of political theatre this country has never seen,  It’s a chess move, well played.”

McCain/PalinObama/Biden.  Chess Game Continues.  “The latest set of moves in the Palin vs. Biden chess match.”

Obama Pulls a Chess Move on McCain!

The Presidential Chess Game. (McCain 1 Obama 0)

“Doesn’t the Presidential race add up to a cracked out chess game?” –

Captain McCain and Campaign Chess.

“Check.  Check.  Check.  And Checkmate” – the Rachel Maddow Show

“…it’s a high-stakes branding chess game…

“He [McCain] played fast and loose with some of the facts, but as chess players say, he seized the initiative early, and succeeded in holding it for most of the debate.”

Obama and Axelrod – Chess Masters!  But the most recent Newsweek Article, provides another glimpse at how the Obama Campaign and Axelrod would demonstrate their commitment, toughness, and skill in the political game of chess!”  “Then he would sit silent and deliberate, playing a mental chess game with the facts.”

The Last Real Chess Player – Colin Powell

Obama Plays Candyland While Big Mac is a Chess Master!  The McCain Chess Game.  “Do you realize John McCain is a chess player, thinking several moves ahead in the game.

Palin Pawn, McCain is playing political chess at the expense of the US people.”

“As a gambit in America’s political chess, grandmaster McCain’s move was so brilliant that it left Obama nearly speechless and floundering.”

Bad Chess Move, McCain (the bell curve and the angry mob).  “Shouldn’t the smart winning chess move kind of thing to do right now be appealing to the swing votes?”

“Some members of the liberal media are calling McCain’s chess move brilliant because it caught Obama completely off guard.

Paulson plays Chess with Congress on BAILOUT.

“McCain’s choice to trade set pieces with Obama is like playing chess with your opponent up a rook and trading off all of your remaining pieces.”

“Like a well played chess match, McCain turned it on Obama with his final statements.”

“He [Obama] made a serious strategic error and John beat him like a close game of chess.”  - Los Angeles Times

Who’s Winning the Presidential Chess Match?  “A high-profile election campaign is more like a chess match than a football game.”

“You can actually picture him [McCain] showing up at a bar in his bomber jacket and picking out the girl he’s going to sleep with that night.  Obama, on the other hand, is more of the President of the Chess Club type.  …that handsome flyboy in the bomber jacket is a lot more appealing than the Chess Club geek.”

“What do you think of McCain’s campaign suspension?  Great chess move.  He’s outflanked Obama.”  Michelle Malkin blog

“If this is a chess game, then Obama checkmates McCain.”

“McCain evidently isn’t much of a chess player.  Anybody could have anticipated that Obama’s next move would be to extend the trip to so that he could walk on the world stage.”

Chess vs Checkers: Iraq, National Security and the Presidential Candidates

“There’s a very sly game of political chess going on here, but you’re too trigger-happy to enjoy it.”

“Like Palin, yes, this is a dramatic and unexpected move. In chess and other games such moves can be used to force your opponent to rethink strategy and reallocate forces. It is, however, a sign of a campaign that is not doing well that it needs to shake the chessboard.”  -

Chess, Not Checkers.

“Reading the various gems of political analysis on these boards is like watching monkeys play chess. It only gets amusing when they start throwing crap at each other.” –

McCain Checkmates Obama.  “If politics is like chess, John McCain just checkmated Barack Obama.  The game is over.  McCain won.”  - Mike Samora’s Reality Journal

Political Chess: Winning the National Debate   “In a chess game, a great player doesn't waste his time playing weaker opponents. A weaker opponent only weakens the great players game. McCain's challenge to Obama is also the equivalent of a weak trap. Great chess players never play into the oppositions trap, unless it is a part of his or her game plan.. Great chess players don't play weaker opponents many games, because the great player starts making risky moves out of confidence. Next thing you know the weaker player start taking pieces & gaining momentum, because the great player acts as if he or she can win without the pieces & never regain the momentum.   I usually take my queen off the board in order to make the chess game interesting at the beginning of the game, with a weaker opponent. Politicians can’t afford to take their most powerful piece off the board.”

“He [McCain] is a few steps ahead of Obama in this chess game and playing like a seasoned professional.” – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room

McCain’s Palin Gambit.  “I was never good at chess, but I know what a gambit is.  And McCains’s choice of Palin is a huge gambit.  He’s risking the queen to gain advantage on the board.”  - alt.politics

“They [politicians] pretend to be like chess players who can see 5 or 6 moves ahead of all of us.  They see us as laboratory rats or pieces on a chessboard.” – alt.politics.republicans

Putin is evil – but he plays chess.  He is smart.  McCain is good at practicing brinkmanship, but terrible at diplomacy, and even worse at strategy.” – talk.politics.misc

“Attacking Palin is checkers; attacking McCain on the economy is chess.” – Clinton aide

“John McCain played advanced political chess back and forth this week with Sen. Barack Obama over the war in Iraq.” – or.politics

Obama sucks at bowling, but it seems that he’s pretty good at chess.”

It’s blitz chess on a 50-state board of red and blue, and Obama holds the advantage.”

“McCain also has the amateur chess player's weakness for making an impulsive move just to see what will happen: thus his eleventh-hour intervention in the Wall Street crisis negotiations. In chess, what almost always happens after the impulsive move is doom.,0,1192464.story

“If you view the campaign as a chess game, Sen. McCain made a bold and successful gambit to shore up evangelicals by picking Gov. Palin – but thereby left several other pieces on the board vulnerable.”

“Debate is a duel, not a chess game.”  - Sacramento Bee

“It’s all part of the Electoral College chess match, where 270 electoral votes are needed to win the presidency.”

“There's really a chess game going on, and in some ways it's a waiting game.”

“Remember that only an amateur chess player fixates on killing the queen. Our prize is the whole game; we know that you can neutralize the queen and win the game without spending your knights in pursuit of her.”

"I'm thinking Obama doesn't understand this chess game.  If you're a chess player, you don't want somebody to come along and move your bishop for you and then walk away, somebody that's only a checkers player.”  U.S. Rep Steve King of Iowa

“Candidates now use the states like they are playing chess, calculating which states to campaign in, and which to totally ignore.”

"If we were to think of this debate as a chess match, then hands down Palin won, that's all there is to it.”

“Stop playing tiddlywinks and start playing chess.”

Clinton, Obama: Pa. ‘chess game’.  “It (the campaign) is a three-dimensional chess game.  You are trying to play two games at once.”








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