Championship Tactics in Chess and Life
Sure, I can play chess. I win sometimes and lose sometimes. But seldom, and by that I mean exactly once, have I felt that I really understood the game. And that was something like 26 years ago.
I could probably get to that point again by playing more. But that would be a waste of my precious time. And it would be dumb, because I wouldn't be taking advantage of the latest strategic theories on chess.
The beauty of these theories are that they don't have anything to do with the game. Witness the current the world chess championship taking place in Elista, the capital of the Russian republic of Kalmykia. The match is between Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. After four games, Mr. Kramnik leads the match 3-1, with 6.5 points needed to win.
What's the strategy that's serving Mr. Kramnik so far? Bathroom breaks. It appears that Mr. Kramnik has been taking an unusually large number of bathroom breaks - up to 50 per game. Which sounds a bit excessive, with the games ranging from less than 4 hours to more than 6. There's no monitoring of bathroom activity, so there's no telling what manner of assistance Mr. Kramnik could be receiving.
So, is Mr. Kramnik cheating? Or is he psyching out Mr. Topalov? What's the truth? Nigel Short, an English grandmaster who played and lost a world championship match in 1993 against Garry Kasparov, said that the accusations leveled against Mr. Kramnik might just be a tactic on Mr. Topalov’s part.
It's just like the business world! If you have the right strategy and tactics, you don't even need to learn the rules of the game. You can come out on top without even knowing what game you're playing!