Roaming Charges: the Russian Game

The Russian Game is a chess strategy developed in the mid-19th Century by Alexander Petrov, a grand master from St. Petersburg. Petrov’s thinking about chess was deeply influenced by Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Essentially, Petrov viewed chess as a kind of military exercise and his Russian Game was a defensive plan to protect the “homeland” of the chessboard from attack by an overwhelming  imperial force through deception, misdirection and infiltration.

Petrov’s Defense, as the Russian Game is also known, is a devious scheme of counterpunching, where the movements of your opposition are mirrored, creating the illusion that your opponent’s pieces are fighting themselves, until a line of counter-attack opens with devastating consequences. When played by a master, the Russian Game is meant to confuse, disorient and induce a feeling of paranoia in the invading force of pawns, rooks and knights

Has Vladimir Putin deployed a Petrov Defense operation against the American electoral system? Has he mirrored decades of CIA and State Department-sponsored meddling in elections in eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America by unleashing a cyber-hack on the Democratic National Committee? Did the Russians hack the voting machines themselves, the way American operations once stuffed ballot boxes?  Or is it all one big psy-op, an elaborate con out of a LeCarré novel, meant to make the American political and intelligence establishment re-enact the…

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