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Chess and Politics

Chess and Politics

Aug 6, 2011, 11:20 AM 0

Chess and politics have gone together since chess was invented. The queen takes the king's castle, and the knight attacks the bishop. Politics is a part of the make-up of the game.

But chess has also, at various points in history, become powerful analogy for global politics. Bobby Fischer is the prime example of this. He became an American hero and legend, but his fame had very little to do with his chess-playing abilities. No one outside of the chess world has ever heard of Gata Kamsky, but he is the number 15 player in the world. If the general public had really cared about Fischer's skills alone, they would still be following chess today.

Bobby Fischer was famous because he beat the Soviet player Boris Spasskey--a political win for the United States. His career was valuable to American politics because it would show that the American free market was better than Soviet Communism.

Chess is no longer important in world politcs, but chess players--naturally deep thinkers--still love politics. Chess tournaments are an opportunity for various cultures to interact and exchange ideas, and I believe that chess is still, deep down, a political game.


Jonathan Slonim is a student of Economics and History at Hillsdale College. He has been playing Chess since the age of 8, and is still not very good. In addition to chess, work, and school, he writes the political blog Give Me Liberty!

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