On Business Chess, Economy, Politics, and School Education
The scenario of Business Chess does not change the classical rules of the game of chess. Therefore, the well – known saying that T.V. Petrosian used to repeat: “Under any system (of play) one should first of all play chess well” still holds true. This is evident. Just as it is evident that a public politician should, first of all, be able to speak well and a footballer, to tackle the ball well. At the same time one would be quite justified in referring to the scenario in the words of D.N. Kavtaradze, a specialist in the domain of business games: “This is a complicated collective trainer and the knack of working with it comes gradually. So one should play more and more”. This is also obvious: a politician should understand human relationship, while a footballer should have the knack of team play.
Business Chess differ from traditional chess in that, in addition to the classical rules of the game, I have introduced the so-called rules of Branching, Passing and Selection of chess positions. As a result, chess acquires a qualitatively new form of a spectacular team business game. Moreover, possibility arises to use the strategical and tactical methods of Business Chess to analyze various social processes, including economic and political ones. There are all reasons to do so, because chess, similarly to economy and politics, is a many-stage competitive sphere of human activities with incomplete information and a high degree of risk. Let us attempt to draw the most obvious parallels of the strategies used.
One of the principles of economy has been formulated as follows: “One should not keep all eggs in a single basket”. Indeed, when it is unknown how some or other companies will develop and how some or other currencies will behave, it would be expedient to place one’s capitals in several of them. The economists call it risk diversification. An analog of such a strategy in Business Chess is Branching. By distributing the initial rating of a game (“our primary capital”) between several branches we insure our future. Then, according to the changing situation in the market, values of shares of some companies increase, while those of other companies decrease. This results in a multiple partial (i. e. smooth) redistribution of the invested capital. In Business Chess this corresponds to chess Passing. Finally, if there are stable tendencies in the development of some or other investment projects, which enables one with a high degree of probability to predict their further development, then a fast concentration of capital in the most promising field becomes possible. Such strategy corresponds, in Business Chess, to Selection of the strongest branch, which sharply raises its rating.
Similar analogies may be made in politics. Using Business Chess as an example, one may in detail examine both the advantages and disadvantages of the democratic (or authoritarian) way of society development under certain conditions. We will not argue which of them is better. It is evident that, ultimately, what is the most effective is also the best. This approach alone is acceptable for Business Chess, as well as for politics, because the failure to follow it will inevitably lead to defeat both in chess and politics. Then a natural question arises: when is democracy more effective and when authoritarian systems of government?
The experience already gained in employing the various strategies in Business Chess has shown that, given sufficient resources (time in chess or money in politics), preference is given to such democratic mechanism as Branching, which leads to pluralism of opinions and ways of development and, respectively, an improvement in the quality of playing. It is precisely this strategy that is most often used, to some extent or other, by both teams in the opening and middle game. However in the endgame the situation becomes radically different. For the team that suffers an acute shortage of resources (time in chess, money in politics), an attempt to retain the democratic way of development merely generates a chaos, and will have catastrophic consequences. Therefore a team which is in time trouble is simply obliged to change to authoritarian forms of development and management in order to increase the effectiveness of its play. To achieve this, it has first of all to decrease the number of branches by cutting off the little promising or outright unpromising ones-either by resigning them or, if possible, by making a Selection. Secondly, in a situation of severe time trouble, the role of the team leader suddenly increases when he is given the right of making decisions without discussing. Such strategy enables the team not only to equalize chances, but, under favorable circumstances (the existence of at least one strong branch), even to win.
And last (but not least). The team having, in the endgame, sufficient resources (time in chess and money in politics) may, by using Branching as a mechanism of the well-known “divide and rule” strategy, easily prevent an effective reorganization of the opponent who is experiencing time trouble, thereby condemning him to the humiliating state of chaos and muddle till the end of the game. This should not, of course, be allowed, because Business Chess is a sports game in which elementary justice should be observed as the right of all the players for effective self-defense. Only thus can a high quality of play be assured. Therefore, in a situation when one of the teams is in time trouble it is given the right of placing a Veto on Branching. In this way, the forcible imposing of the democratic (in the given situation synonymous with catastrophic) way of development is forbidden. In real politics such strict restrictions have not yet been introduced, meaning that one may only dream about fair competition, especially in the conditions of existence, in the mass consciousness, of stable though false stereotypes of perceiving democracy as a panacea.
Evidently, to create an effective civil society and acceptable common standards of interstate relations, it is absolutely necessary that the population must adequately understand the essence of the ongoing economic and political processes. And all this may be learnt when one is still at school – by playing Business Chess and watching TV programs showing how professionals play it.