The following nonsense is a side affect of C19 cabin fever. I have lost the desire to debate the repetitive unsubstantiated assumptions and opinions of recent threads, so I turn to parables. Again I wont be offended if it earns a TLDR tag or robust derision.
In the beginning I was once a member of a liberally social chess club. It was a fairly remote country town and we were all drawn to the comforts of the ancient game of our fathers in that drab boring time long before the advent of personal computers or the internet and celestial cloud. The members were decent souls and would congregate two nights a week and once on Saturdays, sacrificing time with loved ones. As a social club we did not adhere to competitive contests. We played our patient plodding games out of respect and love for chess, that brought us enjoyment and peaceful communion.
At each meeting, after playing a few games, we turned to praising the contests of the revered old masters and exchanged thoughts on the minutiae of the evolution of each and the possible alternative outcomes, and the genesis and history of the game and its arcane rules.
It was during one of these discussions, no-one would recall exactly who suggested what or when, but it was some how agreed that the edict of 'en-passant', basically the capture of a pawn on its opening double move, despite having moved out of the traditional striking range of an opposing pawn, was a sissy mulligan allowance and we laughed at the image of the whiny player who first insisted on this concession and condemned his weak-minded opponents for having conceded to a hissyfit borne out of fear of an otherwise simple ordained pawn move. With a contrite sense of the righteousness of our cause, we exorcised 'en-passant' from our social games.
Then it came to pass that the doctrine of 'castling' was exposed as an abomination in the eyes of the club's players. If, during the natural flow of the game one lost the ability to protect the sacred king, what was the justification to resorting to the most unnatural double and triple sideways movement of both the king and rook when you justly deserved to have your king exposed to danger for lack of inspired play. We wondered with disdain how the unorthodox moving of two pieces at the one time had ever been accepted for the benefit of an evident loser. "Castling' then, was scapegoated.
In further discussions it was agreed that when a player's piece had reached the opposing rear rank, it was out of all proportion to automatically allow that piece to be promoted to a queen by mere choice and without reference to merit. Coming up unto a queen was considered by many a disreputable and overly generous allowance. There was much deep and thoughtful discussion and contemplation. And so it was we accepted that in promoting a piece it could only be fair and acceptable, that it become that piece on whose original place one had landed, ie land on an opposing knight's starting place, then you could only promote your piece to a knight. This added the curious and pleasing element of being able to promote a piece to a king which effectively granted a player an extra life; one could play on, if one of your two kings was taken. We praised the serendipity of this powerful addition to our beloved obsession.
All of this made for some spectacular trials. Liberal chess was an enlightening experience and we saw that it was good. We were moved to further investigate more aspects of interpreting the game and possible modes of play. New suggestions for the specific moves of individual pieces were submitted and debated, but hearts were hardened and lo we spent more time in endless fruitless disputations and less time devoted to playing the game we loved.
Then the spirit moved among us. As a liberal chess club we adopted the overriding catechism of accommodating everyone's interpretation of the game allowing each player his own expression of the game in the spirit closest unto their heart.
And verily our our liberal chess game included the three rules we already accepted. Unto this we swore to abide by a new tenet that ruled a player still had to begin a game with a king and queen, male and female were they both. Then of the remaining 16 kinds, one could use any combination and number; bishop, knight, rook or pawn which could be placed on any of the traditional starting squares. Surprisingly and counter-intuitively, there was little advantage in fielding an army of just one kind. Yay, even sixteen rooks would fail in the face of cleverly managed iron chariot combinations of mixed kinds. Pawns generally lost favour, but some purists who persisted in utilising two or three, could still pull off miraculous 'David versus Goliath' victories.
We pushed the limits of the game even further and allowed that the orthodox movement of each piece could be supplanted by a player before each game with the undertaking those moves remained constant for the duration of the game. I adopted a move for the bishop that mimicked the knight - a move across three diagonal squares with a move of one, perpendicular, either left or right. Moves for rooks in the shape of a "dogleg" and jumping other pieces (two squares forward, two left or right and two forward again) proved immensely popular, but not was proof against wily devised uses of opposing mixed kinds.
It was still chess, we assured ourselves, but a modern chess, a new inclusive egalitarian, democratic and far less monarchical chess. A "now" chess.
I came to prefer playing with three rooks, four knights, five bishops and four pawns in addition to my royal pair. Persistent diligence revealed spiritually thrilling and devastating gambits and combinations each with contrived sets of moves that were pleasing unto the club.
At this point I invited a dear old friend, another disciple of the game, who was staying with us for the week, to one of our chess nights. He was amazed. He said unto me, "You know, at first I thought 'what the fuck? Is this some sort of sick joke?' but as I watched the enthusiasm and earnestness of the devotees I was moved to confess, yes, these guys are truly committed and deeply love this game. But you know what? Your devotion is nothing less than an abominable FIDE heresy! You have forsaken the ordained rules! You are all apostates!. Its just not fucking chess! You have turned my holy diversion into a malignant RobotWars boardgame!" He overturned all our chess boards, scattered the pieces and drove us from the clubhouse in his rage. He was never invited back.
The liberal chess club continued for some time afterwards but neophytes were hard to find. It was difficult to reach the hearts of fundamentalist chess players to convert to our revealed game. Nonetheless the existing members devotedly maintained their faith.
And then disaster. The end of club days. A charismatic schismatic dogmatically declared his king had life eternal. The dogma of immortal checkmate was ours everlasting.
Favourite quote about chess:
"Football is just like chess but without the dice."
- College football player exposing his knowledge.
Its not over, stay distant, keep social.
Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.
Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.