When irksome dogma and rules are conveniently bypassed, a parable.

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Grinseed's picture
When irksome dogma and rules are conveniently bypassed, a parable.

Indulge me.

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.

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Cognostic's picture
I know just what you mean.

I know just what you mean. When I first invented the banana I thought it would live forever but now the lowly fruit seems to be dying off and there is nothing to be done about it but watch. I've been trying to grow pizzas recently but with no luck at all.

dogalmighty's picture
@thesupremechimpness

@thesupremechimpness

Oh great exalted one, do not fret. Your banana has been loved by many. Now that it is waning in popularity, and mostly respected by self love, it is no less impressive. We all bow to your banana.
:D

Tin-Man's picture
Well, shit, Grin. So much for

Well, shit, Grin. So much for my parable using the Go Fish card game.... *throwing hands up in exasperation*... After reading your insightful story, my fishy little tale would look ridiculous.... *shuffling away while grumbling to self*....

boomer47's picture
@Grinseed;

@Grinseed;

Interesting cautionary tale, if that was your intent. .

"Football is just like chess but without the dice."
- College football player exposing his knowledge.'

Was he referring to gridiron?.Sorry, have never able to bring myself to call it football. Same goes for rugby.

Was a time I thought Westmoreland lost in Vietnam because he was playing chess, that Giap had read Sun Tzu and was playing Go. A perhaps comforting, lofty thought. But I suspect quite wrong. I suspect the truth is far simpler, but am not willing to hazard a guess at a remove of 50 years

Me? Yair, I learned to play chess at 14. But at that time was convinced I lacked the brains to be a good player and dropped it. . Today I lack the interest.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Grinseed

@ Grinseed

I guess you impressed the rest of your noisy flock with that story? Well guess what, the Corellas want a story too now....can't wait until the Galahs catch wind of your skills. You will be in for a rough time.

Nice writing mate.

Homergreg's picture
That's quite a great allegory

That's quite a great allegory Grinseed! You indeed have a way with words.

Many here still playing "chess" though? I came to the understanding most thought it was a stupid game to play and gave it up completely.

Tin-Man's picture
@Hoser Re: "Many here still

@Hoser Re: "Many here still playing "chess" though? I came to the understanding most thought it was a stupid game to play and gave it up completely."

Reading comprehension isn't exactly your strong set, is it?

Homergreg's picture
Grinseed gave a bit of

Grinseed gave a bit of interpretation to Nyar. It matched how I comprehended his very well written allegory expressing his thoughts.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I play chess. I've played a

I play chess. I've played a few variants, but nothing like what you describe Grinseed.

Grinseed's picture
@ Nyar, I had no idea I was

@ Nyar, I had no idea I was going to end up with a RobotWar version of chess. I just started with the idea of discarding en-passant and it all escalated from there. The rest just flowed off my keyboard, stream of consciousness style, I love the game but I suck at it and I mean really suck. Liberal chess is a fiction. A parody of Liberal theism. It was only meant to be a spoof of how Christians I know discard the more awkward Old Testament rules Jesus was supposed to have claimed he had come to uphold; mixed fabrics, seafood, tattoos and all the other 600 mitzvots of the OT and not least the abandonment of worldly goods and wealth. I give Johan a pass on that one.
But now I am wondering if Liberal chess might not work with a bit of tweeking. Wanna start a chess club Nyar? Just a social one. lmao

Nyarlathotep's picture
Grinseed - ...I love the game

Grinseed - ...I love the game but I suck at it and I mean really suck...

I'm a club level player; pick a random person off the street and I'll beat the pants off them; but I'm not going to be winning any tournaments, ever.
---------------------------------------------------------

Grinseed - But now I am wondering if Liberal chess might not work with a bit of tweeking. Wanna start a chess club Nyar? Just a social one.

It is an interesting idea, although for me is sounds like something that might be fun for kids. As you well know, the rules of chess are full of gotchas that might make someone lose interest. Something like:

  • No double pawn moves (and therefore no en passant).
  • No castling.
  • No "checks" or "checkmate". You are allowed to move your king to a square where he can be captured. When your king is captured, you lose the game.
Whitefire13's picture
Grinny!!! Awesome bit o’

Grinny!!! Awesome bit o’ writing...

So much to take in, I’ll most likely read it over and over... yes caught the obvious symbology - however “it was agreed” plays the biggest mind-candy for me to expand into all ways we create society based upon “agreement”...

David Killens's picture
Grinseed, is part two about

Grinseed, is part two about how different communities came up with their own variation of the rules of chess, and when communities met, we had chess wars?

Grinseed's picture
Thats a really good idea Dave

Thats a really good idea Dave.
Your vision for part 2, like a Game of Thrones series could be developed along the lines where the Chess Wars are fought out between aggressive chess clubs within a single nation (I just making this shit up as I go). like the US. This has potential for really gripping reading and/or captivating viewing (Netflix, Stan whoever). When the protagonist club achieves domination in the US they could be challenged by the unexpected rise of a Backgammon Faction.
Then in a third chapter the story line could expand with the Chess Amalgam clashing with an Asian triad made up of Gomaku, Xiangqi and Nyout brotherhoods.
Then in the fourth chapter, the Aliens arrive...with a trans-dimensional version of tic tac toe

Glad to see Tin and White already working out some dialogue and plot developments below.

David Killens's picture
@ Grinseed

@ Grinseed

Although my post was tongue-in-cheek, conflict would be the inevitable result between differing communities with differing positions.

Winner gets all the loser's village virgins?

Oh wait, that was already played out in the bible.

Tin-Man's picture
I know to play chess well

I know to play chess well enough to just be an annoying pain in the ass to somebody who can play really well. As long as I maintain defense, I can draw the game out indefinitely. It is when I attempt to go on the offense that I start losing control and get shredded. I can see when somebody is setting a trap for me and avoid it. I'm just not very good at setting those traps myself... *chuckle*...

Whitefire13's picture
God Tinny ...today, we are in

God Tinny ...today, we are in-sync! - that’s about how good I play. Draw it out to its tedious end where I lose...

NewSkeptic's picture
Tin & Wf13

Tin & Wf13

You two should play a game on here, you know 1. e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3.Bb5 etc. You could add a little atheist talk to make it legit. No use of engines!. We could bet on it. How fun!! C'mon, Ruy Lopez, Indian Defense, Kings Gambit!!!

Tin-Man's picture
@Whitefire Re: "God Tinny ..

@Whitefire Re: "God Tinny ...today, we are in-sync!"

WE are In-sync???.... *puzzled look*... Wait... I thought THESE guys were In-sync...

https://youtu.be/qZi_7t__cJk

Whitefire13's picture
Pssstttt Tim, I’ll start, uh

Pssstttt Tim, I’ll start, uh

R12

Tin-Man's picture
@White C3PO

@White

C3PO

NewSkeptic's picture
@tin

@tin

Excellent choice, the Skywalker defense. Bobby Fisher was unbeatable with that line.

Tin-Man's picture
@NewSkeptic Re: Bobby Fisher

@NewSkeptic Re: Bobby Fisher

Yes, I know. Saw his recent movie, so I now know ALL of his moves. Also watched "Searching For Bobby Fisher" multiple times, so I also have extensive advanced knowledge of Josh Baskin's gifted strategies. Russian players beware!

Whitefire13's picture
HA!!! I dated a Russian!!!

HA!!! I dated a Russian!!!

Your move Tinface...your move...

Whitefire13's picture
@Tin G1P (funny)

@Tin

G1P (funny)

Tin-Man's picture
Attention all viewers! The

Attention all viewers! The Tin vs. White game has been moved to a thread in the Atheist Hub. This has been a public service announcement.

Cognostic's picture
@EEEWWWW look! Monkey

@EEEWWWW look! Monkey footprints in the carpet. I was watching the chess game but am no more. Keep looking! Hide and seek is so much fun.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog Re: "I was watching the

@Cog Re: "I was watching the chess game but am no more."

Hate to be the bearer of bad news (okay, maybe not), but we know you were in the chess room and you were responsible for wrecking the place. We have proof. There was a note written in crayon left there saying you did it. No use trying to deny it.

Whitefire13's picture
Yes!!! I am a witness to the

Yes!!! I am a witness to the fact a note was written saying you did it!

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