Honorable Opponent

Story, first published: Galaxy Science Fiction, Aug. 1956

A general can’t understand why his alien opponents don’t conform to the traditional practices of war until he realizes that they consider war a game. They have no need to negotiate the surrender or the return of captured ships; they’ll return them at conclusion of game.

jennre: jennre (Blog)

"Honorable Opponent" (1956) also reflects Cold War tensions. It moves to a comic solution that is a bit of a wish fulfillment, but which is also clever as plotting.

Grost, Michael E.: Visitors From Science Fiction