want to finish henry kissinger's thought

henry kissinger was on colbert this week and he compared the US to China as the games ‘chess’ and ‘go’ respectively and he describes chess as a game with the objective “total victory” but was interrupted for the sake of comedy and never finished the thought…can anyone finish the thought on how china relates to the game of ‘go’?

Perhaps ending up controlling more than your opponent, but not necessarily leaving him with nothing.

Yes, in Go you don’t take (destroy) your opponents pieces. Instead you try to control as much territory as you can.

From here:

Kissinger’s metaphor is really bad. At professional level, chess games often end in draws. Go, on the other hand, very rarely ends in a draw. So it’s go not chess that’s “about victory of defeat” where “somebody wins”.

The idea that Western ideas about war are similar to chess strategy and Eastern ideas about war are similar to go strategy can be found in Scott A. Boorman’s The Protracted Game:


This book came out in 1969, and the analogy may go back further than this. Since Kissinger’s career goes back this far, he probably heard this analogy back then.