Saturday, 11 February 2012

Chess scenarios (2) - Viva La

Another scenario in the series of alternate chess setups. Like the first, this one is also fairly obvious, but it's worth pointing out that the pawns are played with their colour, so the two sides really are in contact already and the pawns a step away from promotion.

It's a reflection of general understanding of what revolution is, a bloody process unlikely to change the underpinnings of a system. That could mean it's now an unlikely event, and that today's revolutions may be internally transformative, growing out from within.

That could mean many revolutions, some of them more like the one shown in that chess game in the Doctor Who story "The Curse of Fenric", in which the colours work together.

In play then, assuming that the black king isn't in check yet owing to the need to protect the white, tactically white and black each have just a single initial option for survival, and strategically the game quickly becomes one of dynamic reordering. Thoughts welcome.



Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

Doesn't this setup start with both sides in checkmate?

Porky said...

My thinking in the post assumes the pawns changed colour as one immediately before the first move, and that this change counts as a move.

White is then only in check, and the king has to remove one of the threatening pawns as the first move.

Black is also then in check at the start of the game, and could be considered in checkmate by the time of the first black move only because of the alternating turn sequence, which kept the check in place through white's move - working on the assumption that white can't act with the pawn if the survival of the king is necessary, not even to cause a joint loss.

The issue is simply that the system isn't designed to deal with what this setup asks - another possible link to revolution - so my feeling is we make the allowance, and give black at least one move to respond.

If instead we assumed the change of pawn colour occurs in two waves, each equivalent to a move, one after the other, first white then black, it would be easier to accept.

All that said, it could be interesting to assume black actually is in checkmate, and - to avoid having the game finish so soon - have the black king removed as captured, allowing only the white king to continue.

And if we do that, maybe the normal rules could be understood not to apply in other areas..? Dangerous territory, and another point of overlap with that understanding of revolution. Maybe the white player could choose to sacrifice the king? What are the victory conditions with one king gone, let alone two? A fight to the death? Negotiation between the players mediated by the position of the pieces..? It's a whole new world...