What is 4D chess in U.S. politics? 2021
‘4d chess’ is a shorthand gag term for the idea that someone is so super-clever in the political moves that they can make a tiny, inoffensive move here, another over there, and it will have ramifications that no one except someone so brilliant could see in other places, and before you know it his enemies are outflanked and outgunned and helpless before his skill.
If you recall your Star Trek, they used to play a version of chess called ‘3D Chess’ on three vertical boards of chess all of which could affect one another with arcane rules. To win you’d have to have an incredible ability to see moves in the future and predict your opponent in a ‘world’ with far more possibilities than normal chess.
4D chess would have even more possibilities. Life has a lot of possibilities.
That’s the origin of the term. I personally think that most political moves are more gross in action myself, but the idea has some merit.
One example would be Lyndon B. Johnson, when he was in Congress, telling an aide to spread a story about his Congressional rival having relations with a pig. When the aide asked, Johnson explained, “We all know it isn’t true, I just want to see him deny it.”
He was setting up the press with a ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?” question.. the press would be sure to take it up and once asked, there’s no way for the target to answer it without indelibly tarring the image in the viewer’s mind.
4D chess basically means “what looks to you and everyone else like a stupid mistake is really, secretly a calculated, genius move that you’re too unintelligent to comprehend, unlike me”.
It’s almost always used in the negative sense. “Trump isn’t playing 4D chess here, he really is that dumb”.
It’s a recent term, I think originally based on 3D chess from Star Trek. The idea is that people accuse President Trump of doing ignorant, foolish things that even his own die-hard supporters can’t make heads or tails of.
And instead of saying “yeah, that was dumb”, his supporters construct these elaborate, complex justifications that basically say “yeah, Trump wants you to think he did foolish thing number 547, but actually he’s a genius because that foolish mistake will cause X, Y, and Z, accomplishing all his goals and astounding everyone who isn’t a Democrat libtard”.
Does Donald Trump really play 4D chess with his political opponents as his supporters claim?
Yes, he does. Scott Adams has covered this extensively in his blog. His persuasion skills according to Scott were way ahead of the other R candidates which led him to predict a Trump victory.
A recent example was Kellyanne Conway mentioning the “non-existent” Bowling Green Massacre to justify the immigration ban. The media went out of its way to clarify that the incident was 2 Iraqi nationals in Bowling Green attempting to provide weapons to Al Qaeda in Iraq which eventually led to them being convicted.
This 4D chess move used the media to get out the true story which was not well known before and therefore make her point that the US was not able to vet refugees from terrorists.
Another frequently covered 4D move is Melania’s “plagiarised” speech which resulted in free coverage of the whole speech.
What would a 4D chess look like?
There have been several 4D chess variants offered over the past several decades. The first I know of was V.R. Parton’s Sphinx Chess, The Chess Variant Pages: Sphinx Chess, and the most well-known is Jim Aikin’s Chesseract CHESSERACT. These 2 games, like most 4D chess variants, use 4 spatial dimensions in which to play.
There is one game that uses time as the 4th dimension, George Marino’s Timeline Timeline. There are some similarities in the designs, the most obvious one being the board, which is almost always a 4x4x4x4 array of 256 squares. In fact, I’m surprised that Parton, effectively the father of modern chess variants, did not use this board configuration, but a smaller one of a 3×3 array of 4×4 boards.
I believe this was a rare failure of imagination by one of the giants of chess variants. But in reducing the number of 4×4 boards from 16 to 9, Parton simplified what is always a very difficult game to play. Any sort of 4D chess is difficult for 3-dimensional beings to play.
In my opinion, there are 2 “best” 4D chess games, Ben Reiniger’s Tess Chess, and my own Hyperchess. Ben’s game is a beautiful and thoroughly well-thought-out game that extrapolates the 2D move of FIDE chess into 4D. It is an excellent game with one minor flaw:
it is effectively unplayable. Ben is a mathematician, and his work shows it. His game is as close to a perfect 4D chess as I have ever seen, and is, in my opinion, the very best fully 4D chess variant ever designed.
The reason it is so unplayable is that it is so fully 4 dimensional.
The chess moves in higher dimensions are extremely hard for people to see. All 4D chess variants suffer from this problem, and the more 4D the moves, the harder they are to properly visualize.
Most designers get their 4D by, in essence, multiplying 2D times 2D, giving 4D. My version was made to be as playable as possible, and I realized the main problem I had with 4D games is all the diagonals possible on the 4D board.
So I dropped all the higher-dimensional diagonals and created a 4D game that was the sum of 2D plus 2D. This is the simplest 4D chess variant I know of, and it is probably the most 2D-chesslike of the 4D variants, which makes it far easier to play than the other games mentioned. This is what it looks like:
And while it has a number of rule differences from FIDE, notable bishops have a 1 step orthogonal move, knights no longer jump, but slide like the other pieces, the king can hold the enemy king on one 2D board by moving onto that 2D board the enemy king is on, and pawns move forward or sideways and capture as they move, it is the only 4D variant that can demonstrate a forced mate on any size 2D board, although the minimum strength required for this mate is king and 2 (of 3) major pieces vs lone king.
2D chess is what chess players play. 3D chess is possibly having a 8X8X8 cube where the queen can move in 22 directions, the rook in 6 directions .
4D chess cannot be visualized, but that’s the game that the ilk of Adam Schiff plays, i.g. pieces and moves are well hidden from Congressmen outside his committee.
In May 2016, The Washington Post released a recording of a man named John Miller, who identified himself as a publicist speaking on behalf of Donald Trump in a telephone interview conducted by People magazine reporter Sue Carswell in 1990. Many speculated that the man in the recording was actually Trump himself masquerading as a fictitious publicist.
On May 13th, Fox News host Megyn Kelly discussed the tape with Carswell, who denied giving the recording to The Washington Post and suggested Trump leaked the tape himself to generate publicity.
That day, the Fox News segment was submitted in a thread on /pol/, where a poster commented “Holy fuck he’s playing 4d chess on a 3d chessboard against people playing 2d chess”.
Shortly after, a screenshot of the post reached the front page of the /r/The_Donald subreddit, gaining over 4,400 votes (80% upvoted) and 400 comments in 72 hours.
On May 14th, Redditor Dasidesi submitted a comic titled “The Absolute Madman is Playing 4D Non-Linear Politics” to the /r/The_Donald subreddit, where it received upwards of 4,200 votes (78% upvoted) and 80 comments within two months.
On May 26th, a two-pane image comparing Hillary Clinton playing Tic-Tac-Toe to Trump playing three stacked chessboards was posted to /r/The_Donald. Over the next two months, the post gathered more than 3,900 votes (80% upvoted) and 55 comments.
See, in the basement of the US Capitol, there are secret rooms where DEM committees meet to do their secretive plots against Trump. However they themselves don’t see other pieces and moves, so far they fell flat of the faces.