There has been a surplus of trite chess metaphors thrown around during world’s response to the civil war in Syria. As a former world champion I would like to pull rank and ask everyone to reject all the nonsense about “Putin is playing chess and Obama is playing checkers,” or tic-tac-toe or whatever. Putin did not have to outplay or outthink anyone. He and Bashar Assad won by forfeit when President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron, and the rest of the so-called leaders of the free world walked away from the table. They have all set up a new game at the negotiating table where Putin and Assad set the rules and will run the show under the protection of the United Nations.