Amateur American Chess

Dec 21, 2010, 12:35 PM |

An essay by Irwin M Stelzer, Chinese Chess, published Dec 18, 2010( ) begins, "The Chinese are playing grandmaster chess against an amateur America that can’t see beyond the second move."

I was reminded of JFK's famous statement during the Cuban Missle Crises about the Russians, "They play chess, we play poker."

In the buildup to the first Gulf War, President Bush's father put a lot of pressure on Japan to get involved -- preferably with cash to support the U.S. operation. Many perceived Japan to dither but it was the only country in the world to formally tax its population to support the Gulf War, eventually contributing more than $13 billiion.

But at that time, then Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu said Americans play tennis and Japanese play golf -- to explain the difference in response times.

At the  "Arab Strategy Forum" in Dubai in 2006, Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali Larijiani said: "Americans play baseball. We play chess. Let them come."

After reading Mr Stelzer's article, I get the impression he knows little, if anything, about the game of Wei Chi, known as Go in the west. If he did he would probably have to admit that the Chinese are playing a strong game of Go on the board of the World, while the US seems to be bluffing without even a lousy pair. Meanwhile their opponents hold all the cards!