If there was ever a character that deserved to be called “Magnificent”, that character is the Magnificent Chessmaster. The Magnificent Chessmaster is what happens when you combine a Chessmaster, a Trickster, and a Manipulative Person. He's bold, charismatic, independent, and audacious. Capturing the audience with his charisma, incredible intellect, mastery of manipulation, and boldness of action, this character is a show-stealer, demanding your reverence at every turn.
So what makes a character a Magnificent Chessmaster? Let's break it down:
•He is brilliant and utterly devious, to an almost breathtaking, mind-boggling degree. Call it genius, call it virtual omniscience, but he always seems to know what everyone else is planning at any given moment, and exactly how to arrange the game so he wins every time.
•He is a smooth operator. He always knows exactly what to say to position you where he wants you, always has a backup strategy and never loses his cool. Even if on the remote chance something happens that wasn't in his plans, you'd never know it from his actions.
•He has a goal, he's not going to stop until he's completed it...whatever it is. To that end he will do almost anything. He'll move heaven and hell, and we want to see him succeed. Despite his choice of tactics, he is rarely if ever pointlessly cruel, and has a reason for everything he does.
•He is charismatic, often charming, his personality like a physical force. People tend to like him, sometimes even when they know he isn't on their side, and even those who hate his guts have to admit respect. Even when at his darkest, he has traits which one can't help but admire.
While usually an antagonist, especially if he's the Big Bad or Evil Genius, the Magnificent Chessmaster can be aligned on either side of a conflict. He tends to forgo the idea of good and evil all together, instead following his own agenda, choosing to help whichever side will further his goals. However, it's true that his penchant for manipulation at the expense of others means he can be a good guySmug Snake
The Smug Snake is a type of character (usually cast as a villain) who tends to treat friends and enemies alike with equal disdain. They almost constantly speak in a sarcastic tone and punctuate most of their sentences with a smirk. Where they aspire to be a formidable and awe-inspiring adversary they often end up just being a Big Bad Wannabe, failing in the face of more cunning villains or ending up as their servants, to which they are most likely a Bad Boss to and often take their anger out on them, even if it's for no reason. Others that fall under this trope are simply in it to bug the good guys and take advantage of their moral insecurity.
A key character trait common to Smug Snakes is overconfidence. The Smug Snake is usually too arrogant to be rattled. Most often, they will think themselves to be the Magnificent Bastard. While they may believe that they have the situation under control (whether they do so through blackmail, coercion, or simply being in a position of authority), there will usually be a hole in that plan that they failed to consider. Perhaps they underestimated their opponents' abilities and claimed themselves unbeatable, or maybe they made a really stupid mistake along the way. Once that realization hits, expect the Snake to lose their cool right before everything starts falling apart for them. They are not necessarily entirely incompetent or ineffectual, however, and may succeed with at least part of their goals, but they are still lacking that charm and grace that the Magnificent Chessmaster possesses. Often a Know-Nothing Know-It-All as well, to inspire added bile, though still enough to take the 'sympathetic' out of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (the best of them are Insufferable Geniuses heavy on the former and light on the latter). If a Smug Snake considers himself a Magnificent Chessmaster, then he is a villainous Small Name with a Big Ego.
Most of the time, a writer will purposely introduce a Smug Snake as a target for audience hate by making them Kick the Dog or bend the rules to get their way and come out smelling like a rose. Basically, this is a villain that's made to be hated and the audience will enjoy hating. This, like all other tropes, can backfire if misused. If the writer still tries to foist the character as a Magnificent Chessmaster when their previous actions have proven otherwise, the audience will likely stop enjoying to hate the character, and instead genuinely hate them alot.
He dreams of conquering and enslaving the world, but if he comes close he's often cut back down to size.
He's a condescending little jerk with all ego issues and almost no redeeming qualities.
They are an egotistical Scumbag, who while quite intelligent, fails to earn the audience's respect or admiration, due to their selfishness, pettiness, willingness to destroy countries just so they can live a little longer, and attempts at trying to destroy the Hero's Love Interest, borderline sociopathy, tendency towards A cruel and possibly pointless actions, can and do cost him the sympathy of many, while his sheer ego, and tendency towards underestimating his opponents and the incompetence of his own allies, his arrogance gets in the way of him giving some of his opponents as much credit as he should, being arrogant without reason, none-too bright, unsympathetic , fully convinced that he is The Big Bad, Treating both allies and enemies with disdain, Always speaking in a sarcastic tone, ending it with a smirk, Loves to bug the protagonist and take advantage of his moral insecurity, and Overconfident that his plans will go exactly the way he wants.
Sometimes they can be humourous version of this guy Though.