The Chess Variant Pages



CHESS MORALITY XIV: Pleiadic Dialectic

They still believe that if you try to make a wish when you behold
A falling star across the sky, your wish comes true however bold.
--Abraham Birman, 'Strange Thoughts (In Memory of Albert Einstein)'

Ideal Mathematician: I'm not interested in philosophy. I'm a mathematician.
Positivist: You're as bad as that character in Moliere who didn't know he was talking prose. You
commit philosophical nonsense with your 'rigorous proofs of existence.'
IM: My being a Platonist is just a handy figure of speech. I never thought hypersquares existed.
When I say they do, I mean that the axioms for a hypersquare possess a model.
It's just a game, like Chess, that we play with axioms and rules of inference.
--Philip Davis, 'The Mathematical Experience'
Some kind of link-and-bobolink, some kind
Of correlated pattern in the game,
Plexed artistry, and something of the same
Pleasure in it as they who played if found.
It did not matter who they were. No sound,
No furtive light came from their involute
Abode, but there they were, aloof and mute,
Playing a game of Worlds, promoting Pawns
To ivory unicorns and ebon fauns;
Kindling a long life here, extinguishing 
A short one there; killing a Balkan King;

Causing a chunk of ice formed on a high-

Flying airplane to plummet from the sky

And strike a farmer dead; hiding my keys,

Glasses or pipe. Coordinating these

Events and objects with remote events
And vanished objects. Making ornaments
Of accidents and possibilities.
--Vladimir Nabokov, 'Pale Fire, Canto Three'

Electra(Falcon): Once nebulae cohere into an orb,
The shifting of a shine that leaves a star
And patterns which the spectral lines absorb
Show distances respective bodies are,
And how composed. Still, we might intervene
In events far and wide at will, unseen.

Merope(P): So fast and loose with simultaneity!
A set of rules becomes tissue of lies
If moves allowed for outside deity.
No King, Promotion, or issue of size
In First Game, Rolling Atoms through curved space;
Like marbles, whose go farther wins the race.

Sterope(N): Here is the Secret of Immortality:
To withstand any mortal resistance
Moving about with full vitality,
Just leap obliquely a two-square distance--
Having the jump on (in this troubled time)
Restoral of end of line's doubled rhyme.

Maia(B): Should ever a force irrestible
Run into an object immoveable,
What happens is all but insensible,
The outcome if any unproveable--
As if Bishops (of opposite colour)
Defend their half of board without valour.

Taygete(K): These portals for divine interventions:

The avatar Horus' all-seeing Eye;

Sacrifice, Prayer, and other dimensions;

'By Jupiter' as a rallying cry;

Apollo and Vishnu hatching a plot;

Psychic Chess kibitzers watching a lot.

Alcyone(Q): Watching a gallant edifice collapse

(Or Royal game upon the sea of Draws),

The spirit's weak but Chess willing perhaps--

As cycles follow universal laws

And no turning ash and smoke back into tree,

Or low level of probability.

Calaeno(R): A new Age of miracles from time to time
Releases minds from classical routines.
Pure conjecture (from 'Comet' to sublime?)
That having Star to guide is ideal means,
So long as Chess move rules and practice be
Modeled on types across the Galaxy.

--George William Duke 2004