Strategy versus Stakes

Vladamir Putin secured his fourth term as Russian President swiftly with more than seventy percent vote in his favour. Russian history is a testament to leaders with diverse and varied characteristics with Lenin, Stalin, Kruschev, Brejnev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin and now Putin. But political generals aren’t the only leaders Russia can boast of, it also boasts of his fascination with the game of chess. The game of chess was a national pastime after the revolution of 1917. The game was subsidised and heavily encouraged. This naturally meant that its influence flew with national leaders as each of them have their own personal story with the game. Lenin was a serious player, but Russian author Maxim Gorky claimed Lenin got angry when he lost. Leon Trotsky reportedly played in Vienna and Paris. Stalin cared so much about his reputation as a chess master that he publicised a fake game in which he claimed to defeat party loyalist and future chief of the secret police Nikolai Yezhov. Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov are known Russian grandmasters. Naturally is can be concurred that the strategy of politics and chess have been intertwined in Russian history.

With the end of cold war and America’s hegemony over world affairs, Russia indeed switched its game with Putin at the helm. Garry Kasparov, in this interesting video by The Economist explains the superfluous strategy of Russia, Putin and the West.


Courtesy: The Economist, YouTube

Jai Venaik

Jai comes from a liberal arts background majoring in Economics, Political Science and International Relations from the Symbiosis International University and the London School. At Samriddhi, he works as a Researcher, chiefly on projects on Constitutional and Legislative Studies.


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