It’s a matter of time now

When I was a grade-school child, I asked questions like this: “Why is Grandmaster X surrendering to Grandmaster Y when there’s no checkmate, not even a check, and both players have pieces of equal value?” My grandfather would explain that Grandmasters X and Y can both calculate three to five moves ahead. When I grew up a little, I had another question. Why can’t X keep playing in the hope that Y makes an impossible gaffe? No one was around to answer so I have since presumed it is merely good chess manners to take your opponent’s sound judgment for granted.

When President Obama claimed that the Russian economy was “in tatters” in his latest State of the Union address, he made a forward-looking statement that was not immediately true but would inevitably become true barring an economic miracle in Russia. There’s little question that not-so-grand Master P. has lost the GDP game. I don’t know if he has realized that much yet. Regardless, he’ll keep playing a bigger, not so gentlemanly game and it won’t be statistical averages that stop him.

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