Chessmasters tug at their strings of influence, patiently move their pieces into places that often seem harmless or pointless until the trap is closed, and get [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter innocent]] {{Unwitting Pawn}}s ([[ChessMotifs Who else?]]) to do all the heavy lifting. The best will also have layers upon layers of misdirection and backup plans in case some unexpected hero appears to gum up the works. They take the (very!) indirect route in order to snake through holes in their opponents' defenses [[ThePerfectCrime without a trace]]... assuming they can refrain from [[EngineeredPublicConfession boasting of their cleverness near the hero]] with a triumphant sneer and a [[FascinatingEyebrow raised eyebrow]].

One obvious sign you're dealing with a Chessmaster is that, when he's gotten familiar enough with the heroes, he'll start breaking out the XanatosGambit by arranging a no-win situation for them. Any sufficiently-complicated [[TheCon cons]] or [[TheCaper capers]] are also the MO of these types, especially if used regularly. Finally, anyone who successfully executes a GambitRoulette is by definition a Chessmaster but be sure to establish their creds before this or the audience is likely to call MaryTzu

Many chessmasters are [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Villains With Good Publicity]], but they can also be [[MilkmanConspiracy someone no one has ever heard of]]. Almost all [[AncientConspiracy Ancient Conspiracies]] are led by a [[TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness collective of chessmasters]], silently working toward their goals over generations.