Monday, July 15, 2013

Chess link added to My Blog List

I have great admiration for durable, functional artifacts that demonstrate that thoughtful, intelligent people had a hand in their evolution.  A partial list includes:
  • .22 LR (L) cartridge (1857)
  • Alliant Unique smokeless powder (continuous production since 1890)
  • M94 Winchester (1894)
  • K98 Mauser (1898)
  • DC-3 (1936)
  • B-52 (1952)
  • Small block Chevy (1955)
And the game of chess.

To be very honest, I don't play much chess because I hate getting whipped.  Young children whip me.  Little old ladies whip me.  My inability to play a solid game of chess has little impact on my cash flow so I mostly avoid the game.

Yet I have great admiration for the game.  Even the casual observer can see that it is a battle-simulation tool.  Various assets with varying capabilities are deployed with great order before the battle.  There is significantly less order after contact with the opposing force is made.

Unleashing my inner Google-fu uncovered claims that chess was "invented" 1200 years ago.  It is likely that some form of proto-chess has been played ever since Thog and Ug started pushing stones around in the dirt next to the campfire while planning the ambush of a herd of tasty yet dangerous herbivors.

So how can a simulation tool that is 1200 years old still be relevant?  Surely the weapons of war evolved in that time.  It is likely that the soldier of 600AD would be baffled by the safety, trigger, loading and firing of an M-16.

While the weapons of war evolved, the challenges of space, time, deception, and the trade-offs in relative weapon capabilities remain.  As does the challenge of outmatching your opponent's wits.

Do these illustrations remind you of anything?
Link. WWI trench.  Trench was Zig-zagged so a opposing, portable machine gun could only enfilade a limited section.  Smart squads would position their machine gun and barbed wire barriers so it could enfilade the opposing forces when the wave hit a line of barbed wire.  Swivelling base could be jimmied to restrict range of travel and prevent gun being turned on forces in the trench.
Link.  Trench warfare was not just a one-dimensional trench.  There was support.  More valuable assets that were capable of longer range were positioned behind expendable elements that would slow down assaults.
Link.  Clearly the Knight is the mortar which is capable of lobbing destruction over obstacles.
A link to the Livingston County Chess Club has been added to My Blog List.  Say "Hi" to Mike if you go.  Tell him Joe sent you.

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