The Protracted Game: A Wei-chʻi Interpretation of Maoist Revolutionary Strategy

Publication Date: 
January 1969
Oxford University Press, USA


While still a teenager, Boorman wrote The Protracted Game : A Wei-Ch’i Interpretation of Maoist Revolutionary Strategy (1969), an analysis of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He shows that the U.S. thought it was playing Chess, while in fact the game was Wei-Ch’i (also known as Go).

He systematically explores the similarity between the military strategies of Chinese Communist insurgency and the Chinese board game wei-ch’i, in contrast to parallel U.S. analyses of the same events. Boorman also argues that wei-chi’s analysis of a strategic system presents a more sophisticated and flexible form of game theory than the traditional western models of strategic choice.