The Godfather of All Strategy.
Instead of blogging every day I’m here training and working on my chess strategies, when I can, because I was invited recently to take part in a prestigious tournament called the President’s Invitational. It’s the first I’ll be playing chess against human opponents in a while and I am likely to be the lowest rated player in the event. This means I’ll be the guppy swimming among the sharks and everyone will see me as Lunch.
Anyway the invite was quite an honour and a big surprise so I actually feel like Al Pacino in the movie Godfather 3 when he says, “ Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in !”. Chess is like an addictive drug calling me back. They’ve pulled me back into the Chess Mafia but now I have to show that I am still strategically potent or it could be quite embarassing.
While I was in my strategic “Godfather” mindset and trying to figure out my strategies and actually wondering if was crazy to even enter, against all these top rated and fearsome opponents, the USA Soccer team scored a stunning upset, against, the top team in the world, Spain.
Seeing the highlights of the game and reading about it online after ( I sadly had to be working while the game was going on) was really a motivating object lesson, a timely reminder that a well executed plan will always be effective, especially against an opponent unwilling or unable to adapt quickly.
Colonel John Boyd had developed his OODA loops to try and explain battles like this. The lesson had already been made clear in the story of David and Goliath and in the fights between Holyfield and Tyson but it’s a lesson worth repeating.
The lesson could be called the Godfather of all Strategic guidelines and no matter how many times I watch Boxing, or play chess and poker, or read the Art of War by Sun Tzu I can’t seem to put the essence of effective strategy any simpler than this;
“There is only one principle of war and that’s this. Hit the other fellow, as quickly as you can, as hard as you can, where it hurts him most, when he ain’t lookin “, Sir William Joseph Slim.
So effecient. Very effective.
“We’re happy with the result and we know we’re going to have our work cut out to get anything out of the final.”“We knew we had to pick and choose our moments to go forward,” a member of the American team said after the game. The Americans did this very effeciently. In fact they only made four shots on the Spanish goal but two of them resulted in goals while the Spaniards failed to net any even after a dozen shots were taken.
Rankings and Ratings don’t mean much it’s what you do on the field of battle that creates victory.
Instead of just being a guppy, swimming away from the sharks, in a frantic bid to survive, I am actually thinking about how yummy sharks will be to eat. I’m like a Pygmy dreaming of eating a few elephants. A crazy Guppy sharpening his Teeth.
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