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Obama Plays Chess Against McCain September 23, 2008

Posted by Jennifer in : chess,politics , trackback

Four years ago, GM Pascal Charbonneau, John Fernandez and I created a fictional chess game between John Kerry and George W. Bush. Here we go again…

September Surprise!  Instead of tonight’s scheduled debate, Barack Obama and John McCain will face off in a chess game. And what a match up it will be! Barack Obama just defeated an overly aggressive World Women’s Champion.  McCain lost his last World Championship Candidates match to a two-time champ consumed by fears of exploding rooks, but just made his comeback against a bishop-obsessed candidate. McCain’s greatest strength is fighting spirit: No one can stop talking about how he defended a pawn down rook endgame for seven years straight. Critics of Obama site his lack of experience on the international circuit, but his talent is indisputable. We have over 225 million opinions on the relative strengths of Obama and McCain, but tonight, chess seems a more appropriate decider than democrazy.

 Barack Obama- John McCain

I am Barack Obama and I am the future winner of this game. I stand on the shoulders of my great American Chess predecessors who favored 1.e4. Who would have thought that a young boy from Brooklyn, without any ties to the Russian chess elite, brought up by a single Jewish mother would one day stand in front of the American public as World Champion? And that 150 years before the levees broke, a self-taught New Orleans genius would claim the first unofficial World Championship? But on the other side of American triumph is American tragedy. Paul Morphy went crazy and died alone in his bathtub while Bobby Fischer was exiled from America for tax evasion and became a raving Anti-American and Anti-Semite. Too many on the fringes of our society, the sick and mentally ill as well as the brilliant are promoted as strong pawns on the top of their game but discarded as isolanis when past their prime. Under my presidency, no pawn will be left behind, and in contrast to my not so great predecessor, I am not talking about more standardized tests, underpaid teachers and uninsured children. I want to help pawns before they even arrive at the board. We’re not talking under-promotion, we’re talking pre-promotion. With 1.e4, I promise you  I will not let America down.

With his first move, the popular 1.e4, Obama takes immediate initiative.

1…. c6

I am John McCain, and I am the future winner of this game. I will restore economic vitality to this country so that all pawns will have a merry Christmas. Meanwhile, my opponent has made one move, but said 100 words. Typical of a man who owns all of Dvoretsky’s books but hasn’t solved any problems.  For my first move, can you expect me to play any other opening than the Maverick Variation of the Sicilian? Oops, I played the Caro. My eyesight is not what it used to be. (McCain excuses himself and returns) Gata Kamsky plays the Caro Kann, so with 1…c6 I profess my undying support for America’s troops. If you currently support Obama, I urge you to consider the Iranian Attack. Unlike my passive opponent, I have an immediate tactical refutation.

Obama: I don’t need to play with a queen. This may be the most important decision of the game, but I’m going to replace the most powerful piece on the board- with another rook, a talkative straight shooter who won’t try any sneaky moves on me after we win the game. (Barack takes his queen away, and replaces it with a rook on d1.)

In a startling move 2 play, Barack seizes the center but gives up his queen for a rook.

John McCain highlights Obama's early queen sack with a queen move of his own, Qa5 check.


McCain: The difference between pushing pawns and moving your queen is that a queen has actual responsibilities.
3. c3
McCain: Under a McCain presidency, every pawn will be powered at the rate of $2.22 a square. And not only that, the standing on a square tax will be reduced for all Americans.

Position after 3...e5

Obama: Pawns should pay no more than $2.21 to push a square, and only the king and queen should pay more for square rental. The people of America can’t afford more expenses at this time of crisis, but we do need to rollback some of the cuts that allow the top 1% gold encrusted borders.
McCain: Did you hear what he just said? Obama wants to raise taxes on  hard-working Americans!
Obama: I think you need to work on your hearing as well as your eyesight, Senator McCain.
5.Bxf4 Ke7 6.Bd6+
McCain: After abandoning your bishops and Jeremiahs, what will you do next? Pray five times a day that you’ll beat me?   

Position after 6...Kxd6

Obama: This is a tight race and I think it’s high time I follow the textbook advice, "invite everyone to the party", including my g1 knight. We once had disagreements, in fact, some said that  the king’s knight and I were dividing the party. But now, we must pull together. KNO McCain, KNO How.
7.Nf3 Na6 8.Bc4 Ne7 9.0-0 b5 10.Bb3 Nc7 
Obama:   I’d like to thank my opponent for a tough fight. Moreover, I’d like to recognize all 305 million pawns including those who are too young to vote, incarcerated or even voted against me.  Without you, I’d never be able to say this: Checkmate, John McCain.

The final position, in which McCain finds himself checkmated by a pawn.


Also see my Chess Life Online post where I solicit more fictional games, and Jonathan Rowson’s take on Elizabeth Vicary’s blog.


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