- Paperback: 80 pages
- Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1559212233
- ISBN-13: 978-1559212236
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Theory & Practice of Gamesmanship Paperback – January 1, 2010
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First, let it be clear that this is a satire, not a book devoted to teaching you The Art of Winning Without Actually Cheating. For a humorous book, however, it is in fact fairly useful and trenchant. Who among us who dabbles at poker can resist a hearty bluff once in a while? Or a pretend bluff, grandly tossing in a pile of chips with a devil-may-care air? Who can resist a backwards compliment of an opponent's play? These are mere fillips in Potter's chef de oeuvre. Here is Potter on pre-game maneuvers: "If the opponent wears, or attempts to wear, clothes correct and suitable for the game, by as much as his clothes succeed in this function, by so much should the Gamesman's clothes fail."
Potter goes on to cite the clever ploy used by an experienced hand at Gamesmanship, who kept two changes of clothes in the dickey of his car. "If he found, at the club-house, that his opponent was rather humbly dressed, he would wear his smart outfit. If the conditions were reversed, out would come the frayed pin-stripe trousers, the stringy clubs and the fair-isle sweater."
This may all sound rather juvenile, but I used to play chess with a friend of mine (who was worse at the game than I was) who would blow cigarette smoke in my face, and cackle "I'm ashamed at what I'm about to do to you," before key moves. He won far more often than he should. While Gamesmanship is intended as wry humor, it still communicates much about the human condition, and above all, about our drive to win.
The English excel at this sort of wry satire, and Steven Potter is indeed fluent at it.
As such, this is both funny on the face of it and a wonderful send-up of the sort of tactics whereby people attempt to win credit or sympathy in real life.
Well, this time, the British dry humor was even better. This is truly a wonderful read on a by interesting subject.
I do nit think you will be able to put it down! Lots of fun!