“Strategists on both sides see the United States as a giant chess game”

Three weeks before the presidential election, tension is mounting in the United States. Polls are multiplying, time is running out faster and faster, and candidates are trying to address, in person or virtually, to as many voters as possible. A certain excitement seems to be winning over both camps. But not the strategists who, behind the scenes, must keep a cool head. Like chess players.

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The parallel between the sport that made the heyday of the Cold War and the conduct of a presidential election in the United States is obvious: with its red (Republicans’ color) and blue (Democrat) states, the country’s map strangely resembles on a continental scale chessboard. Of particular shape, certainly, but a chessboard all the same.


In this game, each player has resources (in men and in money) which are as many pawns, bishops and horsemen that he must use as best as possible to achieve a clear objective: to collect enough States to reach the fateful threshold. of the 270 electors.

However, at three weeks of D-Day, one could wonder about the choices of Joe Biden. Should he really advance his pawns in Georgia, a state where no Democrat has won since Bill Clinton in 1992, or in Ohio, won hands down by Donald Trump in 2016? Shouldn’t he instead launch his towers and his queen towards Florida, the centerpiece of the November 3 ballot? All of America knows that a Joe Biden victory in Florida would checkmate Donald Trump, regardless of the outcome in Ohio or Georgia.

This is precisely where the strategists come in. Like the great masters that were Bobby Fischer and his best opponent Boris Spassky, they anticipate, foresee the next move of their opponents. And in doing so, they push him to change his plans, to sacrifice a tower to defend a queen; to defend a madman rather than attack the opposing king.

Donald Trump on the defensive

Because Joe Biden, by moving his pawns in enemy territory – by buying advertising in Georgia, by going to Ohio – forced Donald Trump to retreat, to defend his territory. We have thus seen the president’s camp devote in recent days all its energy – and a lot of resources – to filling in the gaps in states clearly won in 2016.

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Instead of storming the Democratic camp, as he had done four years ago, crisscrossing Michigan or Wisconsin. Despite appearances, the most offensive player is not Donald Trump.


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