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anyone else think "The Art of War" might be a good book to relate to chess, at least strategy-wise?

Sure, but IIRC it's very abstract, so you have to have a very abstract-concept-friendly mindset to apply it to something outside of war. Its focus on misdirection/feinting/divide-and-conquering is really great but hard (though not difficult) to apply to a turn-based game like chess. With war you can send troops to two fronts at the same time and coordinate them to attack simultaneously - with chess, you have to make one move, then wait for your opponent to move, then move again. An obvious, but a bit limited, application of this on the chessboard is the fork - threatening two pieces simultaneously with only one piece.

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