Saturday, 26 October 2013
One side is playing chess, the other checkers
A recent peeve of mine is the expression "One side is playing chess, the other checkers". I get what it is trying to say (one side is just smarter than the other), but it still strikes me as weird. Most often I've seen it used in the context of American (US) politics, although I feel it is giving away more about the american mindset than commentators realise. To me it is admitting that the default game in America is Checkers, while only really smart people play Chess. For a country that argues it is 'exceptional', this is a kind of damning admission. Better would be "One side is just better at chess than the other".