Trump's Game Of Chess

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by NicklethroweR via The Burning Platform blog,

During the last 18 months or so I’ve heard a lot of talk about chess. This guy or that guy is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers or some mastermind is playing 3 dimensional chess, etc. I find it odd that these statements are made given that only a tiny percentage of Americans know how to play chess with that number sitting around 5% or slightly over 14 million people. This is too bad because if the population, as a whole, had a better understanding of chess then the actions of President Trump would make perfect sense.

History: The school district where I was employed drastically cut its music programs and decided that chess would be an appropriate alternative to music instruction. I was not entirely opposed to this as there were published research papers extolling the virtues of chess and there appeared to be a direct relationship between playing chess and higher academic achievement. Besides, anyone can play chess while not everyone has the dexterity to be a musician. Wishing to be part of the solution, I agreed to become a coach and took on after school chess programs on three different campuses.

Our school district was kind enough to foot the bill for some necessary chess coaching and needed chess supplies. Not only that but I had the great fortune of having World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov’s former full time coach as my new teacher as the former Russian coach had relocated to the very city where I lived and had been contracted by the School District to get us up to speed. Private lessons with Kasparov’s coach! Can you imagine it?

It took my new coach all of about 30 seconds to figure out my level of chess competence which was not very high and I will paraphrase what he said next: “You are not very good and there is not enough time to teach you the correct way. But, I can teach you simple rules that will enable you to defeat anyone that doesn’t study chess full time.” He called his method “active chess” whereas a weak player like myself could use a simple formula to play the most aggressive game possible and win against stronger players. He believed that strategy flowed from tactics and his method allowed for a very fluid game of strategy.

So, what did he teach me and how does it relate to our president? Is Trump playing chess?

Chess is a game where the number of possible positions rises at an astronomical rate. By the 2nd move of the game there are already 400 possible positions and after each person moves twice, that number rises to 8902. My coach explained to me that I was not trained enough to even begin to keep track of those things and that my only chance of ever winning was to take the initiative and never give it up. “You must know what your opponent will do next by playing his game for him.” was the advice I received.

Now, I wont bore you with the particulars but it boiled down to throwing punches each and every turn without exception. In other words, if my opponent must always waste his turn responding to what I am doing then he never gets an opportunity to come at me in the millions of possibilities that reside in the game. Again, if I throw the punch – even one that can be easily blocked, then I only have to worry about one combination and not millions.

My Russian chess coach next taught me that I should Proudly Announce what exactly I am doing and why I am doing it. He explained to me that bad chess players believe that they can hide their strategy even though all the pieces are right there in plain sight for anyone to see. A good chess player has no fear of this because they will choose positions that are unassailable so why not announce them? As a coach, I made all of my students tell each other why they were making the moves that they made as well as what they were planning next. It entirely removed luck from the game and quickly made them into superior players.

My Russian coach next stressed Time as something I should focus on to round out my game. He said that I shouldn’t move the same piece twice in a row and that my “wild punches” should focus on getting my pieces on to the board and into play as quickly as possible. So, if I do everything correctly, I have an opponent that will have a disorganized defense, no offense and few pieces even in play and this will work 9 out of 10 times. The only time it doesn’t work for me is when I go against players that have memorized hundreds of games and have memorized how to get out of these traps.

With all that said, let’s see if President Trump is playing chess.

First, we can all agree that Trump, if nothing else, throws a lot of punches. We really saw this in the primaries where barely a day could go by without some scandal that would supposedly end his presidential bid. His opponents and the press erroneously thought that responding to each and every “outrage” was the correct thing to do without ever taking the time to think whether or not they had just walked into a trap. They would use their turn to block his Twitter attack but he wouldn’t move that piece again once that was in play but, instead, brought on the next outrage – just like my coach instructed me to do.

Second, Trump is very vocal in what he is going to do. Just like I had my students announced to each other their plans, Trump has been nothing but transparent about what he intends to do. After all, announcing your plans only works if your position is unassailable. It demoralizes your opponent. You rub their face in it. Another benefit to being vocal is that it encourages your opponent to bring out his favorite piece to deal with said announced plans. This is a big mistake as any good chess player will quickly recognize which piece his opponent favors and then go take them.

Time has been the one area that our president is having problems. Executive Orders and Twitter Wars have pushed the opposition off balance but he has not been able to use this time to get all of his pieces into play. The Justice Department (his Queen) is still stuck behind a wall of pawns. Furthermore, only 5 of his 15 Cabinet picks have been confirmed as of this writing. Without control over these departments, the president can fight a war of attrition but he really can’t go on the offensive. In chess, I will gladly trade a piece for a piece if it means you have to waste your turn dealing with it. It isn’t a long term strategy if you do not have all of your pieces ready to go.

In the end it would appear that Trump is playing the kind of game that I was taught to play by my coach.

His opponents are never given time to mount an attack.


Their queen – the MSM has been removed from the board and their favorite piece – the Celebrities are locked in a war of attrition while Trump gets the rest of his pieces on the board.


Remember, these are all Tactics but Strategy flows from Tactics.


Sooner or later the Left will find itself in some terrible position and the Strategy to drain the swamp will present itself.

Also, since I did mention Garry Kasparov’s, he had this to say on his Twitter feed just yesterday.

“It’s the birthday of Ronald Reagan, whose courage and moral clarity helped win the Cold War & free many millions from Communist servitude.”

Damn right Garry, damn right.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Dog Will Hunt's picture

Right...chess. Trump's such a fuckin' mastermind, isn't he?

You Republitards suck this guy off harder than Obama's douchebag acolytes could ever hope to have sucked.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) InjectTheVenom Feb 9, 2017 10:49 PM

TRUMP needs to find a way to retire those Socialist Judges. Or FIRE them with a little help from his friends(FBI). Obama fired Scalia, remember.

The White House Employee Responsible for Trump’s Information Security gets Sacked

wildbad's picture

i think priebus is going to be sacked.

i, for one, will be happy about this.

GOOOO Donald!

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) wildbad Feb 9, 2017 11:20 PM

Some pawns have to be sacrificed.

erkme73's picture

If you watch what just happened with the supreme court nominee, you see masterful chess at play.  The guy says privately that Trump's comments were disheartening and demoralizing.   That opens the door for some of the more moderate left to contemplate that the guy isn't a full right-wing appointee.   Does Gorsuch really feel that way, or is he simply disarming the left?

Personally, I think it's a head-fake, and Trump is either aware, if not outright directing it.

Cynicles's picture

Trump is  ...<strike this shit ffs!>either aware, if not outright</strike this shit ffs!>  ...directing it.

along the same lines as to has orchestrated the "leaks" [of Trump being tough]

nidaar's picture

Trump is playing poker, chess is Putin's game.

petar's picture

Exactly, he is bluffing and losing every game.. Mexico is going to pay for the wall, no goldman sachs, all for the people (nothing so far), lost court appeal, import taxes (I dont see any), Ill repeal Obamacare, and the biggest lie is MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. EVen the Mexican president Nieto doesnt answer his calls anymore!

vato poco's picture

shit, man, you are SO right. here it's been 3 whole WEEKS, 21 entire fucking DAYS, and the lying bastard STILL hasn't turned the thing around yet. Even though he works weekends!!

thank GOD we have concern trolls like you to help us just...give up, quit trying, maybe go kill ourselves, and understand that if it couldn't be done in 3 fuckin weeks, like we won both World Wars in a matter of days, it SURE ain't gonna get done in the next 8 years.

no...wait a second!!...

Arnold's picture

It doesn't feel like we'll be done before Christmas either.

Red Raspberry's picture

The current Mexican President is backed by the drug cartels.  What was one of Trump's EOs yesterday?

Paul Kersey's picture

Billionaire Goldmanites, who have been driven by unbridled greed to amass their fortunes, are now directly in charge of the U.S. economy. If this is a game of chess, then it is checkmate for what's left of the American middle class.

new game's picture

be patient, big monied influence will have trump seeing things their way soon enough. give obomber credit for being a quick learner.

geez, look at his cabinet, same shit different party. as george carlin said, "...and you aint invited..."

major league cog dis going on here. lol

Cash Is King's picture

I think you're spot on erkme73 and I said as mush to Mrs. King (who's never listening anyways) this has all the makings of a great game of Texas Holdem. Know thy enemy 's' and their strengths (Sun Tzu), play your opponent and not his cards (Moneymaker) speak openly and purposefully in regards to your intentions and then, find a soap box just big enough to stand up upon to reach those who care to learn or love to hate and with a giant yawp unleash the hounds (words) in less than 140 characters and throwith thy Holy Handgrenade while quietly screaming "runnnnaway! This is sure to pull along all the well bred, well feed, "Anti - everything's" in this country which are going to quickly find out that repeating Social Studies, in class and circled up reading (the big words) to the other children is so Passat! Now B Devos will implement all discussions of past aggressions towards Native Americans (or as I like to call them Americans), or African Americans (or, as I like to call em Americans), or Mexican Americans (or, as I like to say just because you suck at war doesn't mean we don't love your culture your food or your people unless of course THEYRE SHOOTING AT US!......sorry,where was I going with this? Oh ya, we're all Americans and we all play on different teams and that's awesome! Competition breeds excellence but there's 1 caveat that must said loud and proud and defended to the death! This Nation (for its good & bad) has been on life support for 270 because the majority of all our men, women & children respected THE RULE OF LAW, showed a decent respect for the law and when good men & women saw injustices they started the wheels in motion to get it back on track. That's the America I wat back and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to restore the cherished gift of a Republic or as my Great Unk said; "it's a Republic Madamme if you can hold it together!"

new game's picture

his mouth/ego will get him up the river card. don't get me wrong-he still beats the cuntin as prez, by a trump tower or ten...

Philthy_Stacker's picture

His mouth/ego got him elected.

brianshell's picture

Lets not over think every move. Trump is Chauncy Gardener.

nashville2's picture

What is your take on McConnell's wife being in the mix?

Cynicles's picture

chess: any piece can be sacrificed at nearly any time FTW.

wildbad's picture

Right...chess. Trump's such a fuckin' mastermind, isn't he?

...err. actually yes he is.

Good that you're staying with the baseless character assasination trollina. facts (like his GARGANTUAN WIN) are tough to swallow. face reality and you will be welcome amoung men.

Creative_Destruct's picture

Point of the article: Trumps game is blunt, haphazard, aggressive, but very effective, analogous to the beginner's strategy, "active chess".

It's a very good analogy.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Well Funding is authorized by Congress, but would think Trump can make their life miserable.

He can cut funding for manpower, office supplies, office upgrades and remodeling, computer IT, perhaps defund the leases for building facilities so that they have to find very cheap building for their offices or courts.

RovingGrokster's picture

Trump needs to remind Congress that they have the power to create and DESTROY Federal courts and circuits. The 9th circus needs taming - better yet, it needs dissolving with all the staff being laid off, and then to be reconstituted as two or three smaller circuits, with strict constitutionalism as a hiring requirement.

MrPalladium's picture

This is the most important point. The supreme court is constitutional. The inferior federal courts, district, court of claims, federal circuits are created by and exist at the sufferance of Congress. Trump has four years of retiree appointments to fill in these lower courts, a project of more practical importance than the supreme court.

Memedada's picture

I’m genuinely curious: in what way are the judges “socialist”?

Philthy_Stacker's picture

In the way they voted Obamacare. Biggest Socialist experiment in US history.

BOOM! (mike drop)

jmack's picture

really?  is that why you guys put up hillary, you have no memory,  you are like the guy in memento, if it aint tattooed to the back of your hand you cant remember.

ACP's picture

I think you mean palm of his hand, simce he obviously uses that more.

Mareka's picture

A tragic result of the mental disorder called Liberalism is the inability to link cause & effect and the inability to reach new conclusions.

1) Only 2 things can be compared at a time so all solutions seem incredibly simple.
There are homeless people and empty houses. Let them live in the houses! No thought of who owns the houses, who else lives in the neighborhood, why they are homeless.

2) Answers to all new problems are drawn from the opinions that is already firmly established in their minds.

All new evidence is used to support the opinion that is already established.

Any evidence that can't fit is simply discarded.
Fake News is the new tag for the pile of evidence that doesn't fit.

eatthebanksters's picture

You're funny DWH. The fact is that Trump still has strong approval ratings, is trusted by the public more than the MSM and has more people supporting him than the delusional Progressives have supporting them.  It will take a little time, but in two years the shit is going to be flushed down the toilet and the swamp will be drained....and the libtards still won't have a fucking clue.

mountain99889's picture
mountain99889 (not verified) Dog Will Hunt Feb 9, 2017 10:57 PM

we'll see you mindless violent retards fare when we got a President who plays chess

Sweet Cheeks's picture

Sounds like you ain't been getting any lately.

Dancing Disraeli's picture

You are one obtuse fuck.  The point wasn't that Trump was some brilliant chessmaster.  Rather, the author was pointing out that Trump's aggressive approach was analogous to one a newby chess player could apply to defeat more skilled opponents.

Creative_Destruct's picture

Seems a lot of people read the headline and react without reading the article:

“You are not very good and there is not enough time to teach you the correct way. But, I can teach you simple rules that will enable you to defeat anyone that doesn’t study chess full time.” He called his method “active chess” whereas a weak player like myself could use a simple formula to play the most aggressive game possible and win against stronger players. He believed that strategy flowed from tactics and his method allowed for a very fluid game of strategy.

This does seem to fit Trumps approach; defeating more skiled opponents by aggressively attacking from multiple angles, and baiting the opponent to respond irrationally, and so making the opponent identify his own preferences then taking them out, weakening him.That's the point, NOT that "Trumps a chess genius."

For Trump, plans and paths to solutions flow from ACTION, like "strategy flows from tactics."

Most people take the opposite approach.

Creative_Destruct's picture

"You Republitards suck this guy off harder than Obama's douchebag acolytes could ever hope to have sucked."

Guess there was too much competition for you on the front side from the acolytes, so you went backdoor..

Sounds like you miss the taste of Obama's dingleberries....

monad's picture

For that you must drink 4 fingers of beer standing on your head.

FlKeysFisherman's picture

"Right...chess. Trump's such a fuckin' mastermind, isn't he? "


He took on the media, the Establishment, the Shadow Government, the useful idiots (Soros' lackey's), Hollywood (modern day Court Jester's) and he WON BIGLY.

I'm 63 years old and I've never seen anything close to what just happened. You're God Damned right I'll back Trump up and I'll God Damned die if I have to.

vato poco's picture

damn straight, bubba. this is the country's last chance, and if it means having to shoot the bolt....I'll take that deal too.


Josey Montana's picture

Didn't Hitlery trry to flee the country a few days ago?

Looks like Trump's pit bull Jeff Sessions is going to ... ahem ...  #LockHerUp.

Don't worry.  It'll be a long while before they work their way down to you.

jomama's picture

TD should start providing napkins and raincoats.

halcyon's picture

Bad analogy. Trump is not playing by others chess rules at all and that is a good thing. He is playing by his own rules and forcing others to react.

That is brilliant application of Boyd's OODA loop. Study it.

Memedada's picture


ZH has become my website of choice to see how a ”controlled opposition” is created and “thinks” live.

The drivel, stupidity and obvious lies that are accepted as “the truth of the day” is astonishing. It takes a very-well conditioned/dumbed-down population to be fooled so much. As the saying goes “you cant fool all the people all the time – but you can fool enough of them all the time”…;-)

Trump is never going to “drain the swamp”. He is himself af swamp-dweller. A fiat-billionaire and a spawn of the Ponzi-scheme. His appointees  are – what a big surprise, suckers – all confirmed swamp-creatures and/or nodding brainless military-goons (“Confirmed, yes Sir!”). The only thing that could challenge the “real establishment” (if that terms alludes to “people with power” and not just “people with airtime” = “people hired to distract”) is a reform of the “monetary system”. The private “national” banks should be, well, nationalized = money itself should be “democratized”.

But Trump is a small fish – he has owners too (and his stash of fiat is dependent on the continuation of status quo – he is personally invested in the shit show).

Look up who he has as nominee for Secretary of Treasury and make your own conclusions. Hint: Goldman Sachs and Soros are happy happy…

Disclaimer: no, I’m not a victim of the US corporate fascist propaganda machine = I don’t support any of their candidates (including Obama, Hillary or any from that fraction of the corporate fascist party of USA – the DEMREP).  

False_Profit's picture

Very intererstingk...BUT WRONG!

to fight mercenaries, you have to use mercinaries...

mountain99889's picture
mountain99889 (not verified) Feb 9, 2017 10:48 PM

Trump's game of chess. I am telling you this man is a genius - a genius in a rare position to something new, something no one has ever done.

ThuleNord's picture

Actually one person took on the racial cabal before Trump, Hitler. They demonized him too, even people on this site still believe the lies despite the Fact what's happening to Trump right now is exactly what happened in 1933.

Krungle's picture

And how'd that turn out for you guys?