[E]veryone understands that a sacrifice in chess is self-interested. There is no moral or character component to sacrificing a piece; it's a good idea if it helps the player win, and a bad idea otherwise. No one analyzes a chess game by saying that the player lost, but at least she was willing to sacrifice her rook, or that he didn't deserve to win because he was unwilling to sacrifice anything. It seems to me that we'd be better off if pundits talked about sacrifice in that way, rather than in the morally loaded fashion (which I think is similar to the misguided way that sacrifice is discussed in baseball) that Friedman favors. Oddly enough, I think that the chess model of sacrifice, even though it appears to be cold, calculating, and cynical, would yield a much more healthy view of the collateral costs in human suffering often involved in Friedmanesque calls for sacrifice.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.