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This nOde last updated March 8th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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chess (chès), game for two players played on a square board composed of 64 small squares, alternately dark and light in color. Each player is provided with 16 pieces, or chessmen, either white or black. Various pieces are set down in a designated order in the two ranks closest to the player. Each piece is moved according to specific rules and is removed from the board when it is displaced by the move of one of the opposing pieces into its square. The objective in chess is to checkmate, or trap, the opponent's king, a piece whose mobility is limited. Chess probably originated in India. By the 13th cent. it was played throughout Europe. The first modern international chess tournament was held in London in 1851. There have been recognized world chess champions since that time, and since the 1970s championship matches, such as those in which Bobby FISCHER took the title from Boris Spassky, Anatoly KARPOV defeated Viktor KORCHNOI, and Gary KASPAROV defeated Karpov and Nigel Short, have received worldwide media coverage.
Several metaphysicians (Crowley, Shallis, Carroll, etc.) have suggested that chess is really a medieval computer simulacrum, a magical model of the world, or of Time, in which various forces confront one another. The black and white squares are happenings of evil mixed with good. The pieces are fixed stages of mental development. The pawns are ordinary mentalities, with few choices open to them, who can move but forward in hope of eventual enlightenment (embodied in the queen). The knight is the initiate, the bishop ecclesiastical power, the castle or rook temporal power. The king, of course, is the inner self or life-force revealed at death or apotheosis, depending on whether one wins or loses. One's opponent king is the source of the tyranny of the outside world, the "other" that the self must battle. Originally the game was played with four players, each having four pieces and four pawns - with no queens.
Ithell Colquhoun notes that Yeats and the Celts before him (fidchell) had a chessboard representing the four gates to the cities of the four elements and in which the squares were cromlechs - mystic, upright stones. Gwenddolen, in Arthurian legend, is said to have possessed an enchanted chessboard that played by itself.
In their serious corner, the players move the gradual pieces. The board detains them until dawn in its hard compass: the hatred of two colors.
In the game, the forms give off a severe magic: Homeric castle, gay knight, warlike queen, king solitary, oblique bishop, and pawns at war.
Finally, when the players have gone in, and when time has eventually consumed them, surely the rites then will not be done.
In the east, this war has taken fire. Today, the whole earth is its provenance. Like that other, this game is for ever.
Tenuous king, slant bishop, bitter queen, straightforward castle and the crafty pawn-- over the checkered black and white terrain they seek out and enjoin their armed campaign.
They do not realize the dominant
hand of the player rules their destiny. They do not know an adamantine
governs their choices and controls their journey.
The player, too, is captive of caprice (the sentence is Omar's) on another ground crisscrossed with black nights and white days.
God moves the player, he, in turn, the piece. But what god beyond God begins the round of dust and time and dream and agonies?
- JORGE LUIS BORGES
Alan Turing and Claude Shannon were altogether serious in their interest in chess, because of the complexity of the game in relation to the simplicity of its rules, and because they suspected that the shortcut needed to perform this kind of time-consuming search-procedure would also be a clue to the way brains solved all sorts of problems.
A chess playing program was also interesting because it was a relative of the kind of informational entities known as automata that John von Neumann and Turing had been toying with. Once again, like Turing's universal machines, these automata were theoretical devices that did not exist at that time, but were possible to build, in principle. For years, Shannon experimented with almost absurdly simple homemade versions--mechanical mice that were able to navigate simple mazes.
- Howard Rheingold - _Tools For Thought_
piece: _Chess Set_ by Yves Tanguy
Atari 8bit videogame _Archon_
Archon takes a new and different spin on the idea of chess. Rather than simply having pieces capture each other by moving onto the same square, pieces that occupy the same spot actually battle for control. Attacking doesn't necessarily mean that you will win the square, and in defense, you can slaughter your enemy's incoming army.
Even more, this battle between Light and Dark takes place on a magical playing field. Each army has a spellcaster capable of powerful magical spells that can shift the tide of battle. As the game plays, certain squares cycle from white to black and back again. Dark pieces are much stronger on dark squares, while Light pieces are more powerful on lighter squares.
You can win by slaughtering the entire opposing army or by capturing the five power points that exist on the board.
Each piece in the two armies has strengths and weaknesses. No piece is so strong that it is invulnerable to everything, and no piece is so weak as to be useless. Every piece can move a certain number of squares on the chess board in any direction. Flying pieces are able to move over both friendly and enemy units.
The main game takes place on a black and white chess board, which is nine squares by nine instead of the normal eight by eight. The spellcasters each stand on one of the power points at the start of the game, while the other three are lined up along the middle of the board.
When two pieces occupy the same square,
the view shifts to a battle screen where the two can fight for domination. Victorious
pieces claim the square for their army. Wounds are real, however, and a weakened
piece can often be easily killed by another attack. These wounds heal slowly
Washington - Sam Hill Museum
3/31/98 - This museum is located in the middle of nowhere it seems off the bank of the Columbia River on the border of Oregon and Washington. I was there because I was visiting my girlfriend at the time, and also to check out the full size Stonehenge replica built by Sam Hill on the banks. a great site for a party. anyway, I decided to check out the museum, and I was surprised to find a very interesting collection of chess boards and chess pieces. a very pleasant find. - @Om* 5/19/00
film _2001: A Space Odyssey_ DVD (1968) directed by Stanley Kubrick
The chess position and moves
that we see are from a game played in 1913 in Hamburg between two undistinguished
players named Roesch and Schlage.
film _War Games_ (vhs/ntsc)
in the film _Aliens_
a chess related visual pun is performed when the "queen" takes "Bishop".
IBM Deep Blue defeats Grandmaster Gary Kasparov. Afterwards Kasparov comments on a particular move by Deep Blue that it was "eerily human".
In June 1992, the new single _Blue Room_ MP3 hit the British Top Ten. The longest single in chart history at just under 40 minutes, it earned the Orb a spot on Top of the Pops, where they ruminated over a chess game and waved at the camera while a three-minute edit of the single played in the background.
citrus chess @ LACMA 11/14/01