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I have a real problem. When we were in Charleston a couple of years ago, I purchased a Civil War chess set. Pieces in uniform, deep blue and light grey, with the respective presidents and first ladies as kings and queens. I play chess, I have several sets, but now I have a problem.

Should I ever allow the Confederates to win? They would be considered the “white” pieces (chess pieces are considered “white” and “black” usually) in chess, which have a slight advantage in going first. Should I only allow inferior players, sure to be checkmated by the player representing the Union forces, to play on the Confederate side? Or, should I remove a couple of key pieces from the Rebels, say a rook and the queen, to be sure they can’t win?

Perhaps I should allow the Union side to take two moves to every one for the South. What if someone is visiting and sees that I’ve displayed the Confederate Army on a chessboard, with a chance of being victorious? Will they rat me out to the cancel culture presentists who would then come for me? Will they throw paint on my chess set, or perhaps relocate it in a crate to a deserted part of town?

Life is just not so simple any more. Because we make it so complicated.

I’ll just use my chess set from Prague for now. I don’t think anyone would be upset by a commemoration of the famous defenestration in the castle. Although it would be the Bohemians vs. the Hapsburgs, Catholics and Protestants, and the beginning of the 30 Years War.

Maybe I can buy a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote set. I wonder if PETA would object?

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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