by James Corbett
February 27, 2021
It’s a ridiculous, no good, stupid, rotten meme.
You know the idea that every horrible move that Precedent Trump ever made (like appointing John Bolton or launching Operation Warp Speed) was actually some super complicated three-dimensional chess move intended to accomplish the exact opposite of what he was actually doing? (“You don’t understand, man! He’s appointing Gina “CIA Torture” Haspel because he wants to expose her role in CIA torture!”)
Yeah, that meme.
Well, as much as “Trump the 3D chess master” represented the apotheosis of Hopium for the Trump Train crowd (cf. The Babylon Bee’s spot-on satirical headline from January 20, 2021: “Republican Starting To Think Trump Might Not Pull Off A Last-Minute 4D Chess Move“), the idea of three-dimensional chess itself is not without merit. After all, I employed it in 2013 to discuss the reality of “China and the New World Order” and used it again in 2014 to discuss the true nature of the Global Chessboard. (Don’t blame me for launching the meme, though! The earliest reference I could find was a 2010 clip of Cenk Uyghur discussing liberal defenses of Barack Obama.)
So in defense of this much-abused idea, allow me to present to you a beginner’s guide outlining How To Play 3D Chess.
2D Chess vs. 3D Chess
We all know how to play regular old, run-of-the-mill 2D chess, right? Well, if not, here’s your crash course.
Long story short: Each player controls a set of sixteen pieces, one white and one black. Each piece can move in certain, proscribed ways around the chessboard—64 squares laid out in an 8×8 grid—and can capture the other side’s pieces by moving to a square that is occupied by an opponent. The goal is to “checkmate” the king of the opposite side by forcing him into a situation where he is unable to move without being captured.
Sadly for any chess aficionados in the crowd, though, we are not here today to talk about the game of chess.