By W. D. Troyka
In Accounting Chess the familiar cast of nobility and pawns is
replaced by those holding power in -- or over -- a major corporation.
We have the CEO, CFO, Auditor, Regulator, Director, and Shareholders,
which correspond, respectively, to the King, Queen, Bishop, Knight,
Rook, and Pawns. The initial array is the same as for FIDE Chess.
There are two types of motion in the game, rules and tricks. Rules
are dictated by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Tricks follow FIDE Chess rules.
The World According To GAAP
GAAP is a very boring regime. No piece can capture. Shareholders
move forward one space, the CEO and CFO move one space in any
direction, the Auditor moves one diagonal space, and the Director
moves one orthogonal space. It will be seen that each of these pieces
follows the corresponding FIDE Chess definition except that it can
move only one space and cannot capture. A game played according to
GAAP is not a game at all. Pieces move aimlessly without any power or
goals, and nothing ever happens..
Tricks Of The Trade
Fortunately pieces are permitted to violate GAAP. This is
accomplished by making a move permitted in FIDE Chess for the
corresponding piece but prohibited by GAAP. For example, if the CFO
makes a Queen-move over more than one space, it has made a
GAAP-violating move. A piece that violates GAAP becomes permanently
crooked. A CEO that moves while in check becomes crooked. A
Shareholder that makes an initial double step, or a CEO and Director
that castle, do not become crooked. Crooked pieces are indicated by
The Regulator is a fearsome piece. It moves like a Knight and
cannot be captured. Its function is to indict crooked enemy pieces.
It does so by landing on a space orthogonally adjacent to such a
piece. The indicted piece is removed from play. The Regulator itself
is crooked and as a result one Regulator can indict another. The
Regulator does not capture by replacement.
Bilking The Shareholders
Pieces are permitted one move -- bilking the Shareholders -- that
violates both GAAP and FIDE rules. It consists of capturing an
innocent, friendly Shareholder. A Shareholder cannot be bilked it is
(a) crooked, (b) in its starting position, or (c) protected by an
enemy Regulator on an orthogonally adjacent square. Shareholders are
not permitted to bilk one another.
(1) Capturing the enemy CEO.
(2) Indicting the enemy CEO.
(3) Bilking all your Shareholders.
A Crooked CEO:
Would you buy stock
from this man?
You win when all your innocent Shareholders disappear, whether by
bilking, capture, promotion, or corruption. In most cases the last
one disappears by bilking but this is not required. An innocent
Shareholder promotes to an innocent piece when making a GAAP move and
to a crooked piece when making a crooked (i.e., capturing) move. A
crooked Shareholder always promotes to a crooked piece. A crooked
piece can move safely next to an enemy Regulator. Indictment occurs
only when the Regulator moves.
Accounting Chess mimics various conflicts inherent in corporate
accounting. If you are ethical and abide by GAAP, a crooked
competitor can gain an advantage. If you choose to violate GAAP, you
face the risk of indictment by a hostile regulator. The regulators
themselves are not neutral pieces but are used by one corporation as a
tool against another. And through it all, there is the constant
temptation to bilk your shareholders.
The game lends itself to a number of basic strategies. First, there
is honesty. Play according to GAAP and rely upon your Regulators to
punish enemy transgressions. You can win this way only by indicting
the enemy CEO. Second, there is naked greed. This consists of
bilking your Shareholders as fast as you can. This strategy suffers a
serious flaw. An enemy Regulator that positions itself in front of a
friendly Shareholder can protect it. This takes the enemy Regulator
effectively out of play but it means you are left without the
defensive shield of the Shareholders you have bilked. Third is the
path of calculated greed. This consists of violating GAAP when it
serves a tactical purpose and relying on your Regulators to punish
opponent violations of GAAP. Not surprisingly, calculated greed is
the most effective strategy.
An implementation of Accounting
Chess has been written for Zillions of Games.
Written by W. D. Troyka.
WWW page created: January 15th, 2003.