The Corner

Re: Stratego

It’s a tough one, John. If you set up a space of possible strategies, from

verkrampte at one end (i.e., playing all out against the lad, conceding

him nothing) to verligte at the other (throw all games to build his

self-esteem), then I am well towards the verkrampte end, as you would

expect of a philosophical conservative. You know what we conservatives are

like: rule-dominated, desperate for certitude, pitiless towards the

underdog. I certainly don’t throw games. I often “play dumb,” though –

pretending I haven’t seen good moves, or threats from his pieces. It helps

that I am not actually very good at strategy games. Even if I played all

out, Danny would win around one game in eight or ten. As it is, he wins

about one in three.

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