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Thread: Bad Chess

  1. #1
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    Bad Chess

    I created a thread years ago with the same title, but I can't find it, so instead of resurrecting it, I need to create a new one. It involves a hobby of mine in which whenever I see a chess board in a store display, I habitually check to see if the position is legal or not. My experience is that at least 70% of the time, it is not a legal position. I recently found this item at a store and was surprised that an illegal position was on the box. It's not hard to see why it is an illegal position, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the student. Remember, there are two parts to the "proof" that the position could not possibly occur via legal moves. The first part is obvious. The second part involves pointing out that only one piece on each side has been captured.

  2. #2
    We apologise for the fault in the cover art. Those responsible have been sacked.


    We apologise again for the fault in the cover art. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.
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  3. #3
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    Hmm... the knight couldn't have gotten to that position in just one move... and why hasn't that pawn captured that opposing knight yet?

  4. #4
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    There are quite a few things wrong with it:

    1. Set-up wrong
    2. Both the white knights, the one remaining and the one taken, have made bizarre moves.

    Can't make out the black pieces so well...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    We apologise for the fault in the cover art. Those responsible have been sacked.
    We apologise again for the fault in the cover art. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.
    I had a feeling we were getting too many moderators.

    Anyway; I think any chess game when somebody says "king me" is a bad chess game.

    Anybody want to catch me on the flip side for a game of backgammon?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    There are quite a few things wrong with it:

    1. Set-up wrong
    2. Both the white knights, the one remaining and the one taken, have made bizarre moves.

    Can't make out the black pieces so well...
    1. Correct ( but how is the setup wrong?)

    2. Bizarre moves are not necessarily illegal moves.

    You don't need to make out the black pieces to determine that the position is impossible.

  7. #7
    The official rules of Calvinchess can be difficult for the beginner to fully comprehend.

    (See Wikipedia: Calvin and Hobbes :: Calvinball.)

    Revised rule 11.3: reverse the board colors after setting up pieces.
    New rule 63a: the bishop may jump other pieces.
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  8. #8
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    The one thing clearly wrong is that the front rightmost square should be white. The other oddities are less definitive: it appears that the kings and queens were not set up opposite each other, so that black has somehow managed to castle king-side-style on what is for white the queen's side. The remaining white knight is in a strange position as is the white bishop on the white squares. It seems to have been done by someone who was largely but not totally clueless - hey, at least the bishops on both sides are both on opposite-colored squares!
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  9. 2008-Dec-05, 08:55 PM

  10. #9
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    The black king's position after castling is correct, once you account for the initial setup error.

    ETA: I take that back. That's the queen over there - hard to tell them apart. Black castled the queen?

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    1. Correct ( but how is the setup wrong?)

    2. Bizarre moves are not necessarily illegal moves.

    You don't need to make out the black pieces to determine that the position is impossible.
    1. Set up was 90deg out. Bottom right hand corner should be white.

    2. If you don't need the black- then I don't know. I count 4 moves for the king's knight to get to where he is..bizarre, but not illegal as you said.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    The black king's position after castling is correct, once you account for the initial setup error.
    Not really - that should be the queen's side, not the king's side, unless you're sticking with queen-on-her-color even though the squares are wrong.

    EDIT: Actually, I think your correction is right: black castled the queen!
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Not really - that should be the queen's side, not the king's side, unless you're sticking with queen-on-her-color even though the squares are wrong.
    I was.

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    It's possible that with this set, the queen is larger than the king. My set has it the opposite. But the white pieces seem to indicate queen>king. If that's the case, the castling was with the king and, if you assume queen-on-her-own-color, it would be correct.

  15. #14
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    I think the castled black piece is the king, and the white piece under attack by the knight is the queen. So blacks had castled, and one knight on each side was taken. White knight was taken by one of black pawns on column C -- most likely by one on C-4. Hmm... Aside from the board being at 90 degrees, I see nothing impossible about this position.

    Although the white player is incredibly bad.

  16. #15
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    The question isn't whether the position could occur with reasonable moves. If you can make legal moves and reach the given position, then it counts among the 30% of chess sets in store displays that are correct.

    toSeek was right as were several others. The rule is "white on right", which means that squares a8 and h1 are white (toseek referred to h1). The other rule is "queen on color", which means that the white queen must start on a white square (d1), and the black queen on a black square (d8), but this rule does not factor into the question of whether this is a legal position. The kings and queens can easily swap squares after the game starts, provided that one of the b,c,d,e,f or g pawns has moved. The last part of the puzzle is the question of whether the position could have started out correcly (where we are actually looking at the board from the side), but the pawns through pawn captures ended up on either the b or g ranks (giving the impression that the square on the bottom right is h1 when in fact it is a1 or h8. This can be easily shown to be wrong the since squares b1,g1,b8,and g8 would all have pawns on them, which is impossible. Alternatively, since the only pieces captured so far are one knight for each side, the pawns could not have lined up on a single file (b or g) the way they have.

    I still find it amazing that illegal positions would show up on the box of a chess set. I bought the set to donate to a Christmas toy drive. Hopefully the directions inside the box on how to play are written by someone more knowledgeable than the person who set up the board for the photo.

  17. #16
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    Hang on- your second part assumes they started off correctly- which we know they didn't.

  18. #17
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    Yes, hang on. What exactly is the second error?

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Yes, hang on. What exactly is the second error?
    Worrying about it in the first place.

  20. #19
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    The reason is that most people know almost nothing about chess. They might know basically how the pieces move, but that's it. Personally, I never can tell the difference between the king and the queen.

    Although I've been called things like "smart" and "intelligent," I don't play chess, I don't like playing chess, and I wouldn't know an invalid layout if it bit me.

    Fred
    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    Hang on- your second part assumes they started off correctly- which we know they didn't.
    I think it's a reductio ad absurdum. He's conclusively ruling out the unlikely possibility that somehow the overall framework of the pieces has skewed 90 degrees during the course of the game, rather than the obvious circumstance that the pieces were set up wrong to start out with.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  22. #21
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    I'm just curious .

    Why is it in Chess , The QUEEN has the more "Power" to move in any direction Compare to The King?

  23. #22
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    The conclusion of my analysis can be summed up thusly: whoever set up that photo, I want to play him/her for money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whirlpool View Post
    I'm just curious .

    Why is it in Chess , The QUEEN has the more "Power" to move in any direction Compare to The King?
    Because women are always changing their minds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Because women are always changing their minds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Whirlpool View Post
    I'm just curious. Why is it in Chess, The QUEEN has the more "Power" to move in any direction Compare to The King?
    Good question. Sadly, I don't have the answer.

    Chess is a very old game, and it's rules have changed frequently over the centuries. IIRC, the queen used to be a weak piece at one time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post



    Good question. Sadly, I don't have the answer.

    Chess is a very old game, and it's rules have changed frequently over the centuries. IIRC, the queen used to be a weak piece at one time.
    Yeah, In Chess , The King is the ONE that is Protected by the whole Army , and if everyone were already defeated then , The KING should have the Power to Protect himself and it will take His Opponent to do All the Moves and have the Hardest Time to Kill Him before it reaches the so called " Check Mate".


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    Quote Originally Posted by Whirlpool View Post
    Yeah, In Chess , The King is the ONE that is Protected by the whole Army , and if everyone were already defeated then , The KING should have the Power to Protect himself and it will take His Opponent to do All the Moves and have the Hardest Time to Kill Him before it reaches the so called " Check Mate".

    Well, that answers the question.

    The queen has more moving power so that she can go off into battle while the king chills with his bodyguards.

  28. #27
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    Ironic.

    In Real Life , its should be the King who is the Protector .

    Well, it's Chess .


  29. #28
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    Actually, Whirlpool, the King is almost as powerful a defender as is the Queen. And the Queen is overrated. She's purely defensive until the end game and the board opens up. She's much too vulnerable. Some would call her a "glass cannon".

  30. #29
    Because the King is the game, you don't want him out there fighting and slaying and moving about. It would also make it very hard to reach checkmate if the King could move about.

    There is a chess game where the queen is the "King", and it is quite hard to checkmate a queen. The game is played by one side having the full set of pieces, the other side just has a queen. It's an interesting game.

    As to the OP, I can't quite make out all the pieces in the image. So I'm not sure what the problems are.

    For Chess fans, a bit of odd chess action.

    http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=6bS0ow3mmAM

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Actually, Whirlpool, the King is almost as powerful a defender as is the Queen. And the Queen is overrated. She's purely defensive until the end game and the board opens up. She's much too vulnerable. Some would call her a "glass cannon".
    I disagree. While the king does have considerable power, particularly in defense, the queen is by far the most powerful piece on the board by virtue of her reach. She is both a defensive and offensive weapon.

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