Monday 20 December 2021

Not quite Kriegspiel

 The latest Wes Anderson film "The French Dispatch" is, like most Wes Anderson films, quite entertaining, if you like Wes Anderson films. As I do, I quite enjoyed it.

It is split into 3 distinct stories, and the middle story has a lot of chess running through it. Loosely based on the 1968 student protests in France, there is a scene where negotiations between students and authorities are carried out by relaying chess moves. Interestingly, the board at each end only contains pieces of a single colour, the opposing pieces having already been removed.

While I am sure there was a symbolic reason for this, it actually reminded me of the chess variant Kriegspiel. The only difference in the movie was that the move played was announced, while in real Kriegspiel, only the umpire receives the move, and announces whether it is legal or illegal. 

Kriegspiel is a fiendishly difficult game to play btw, and also suffers from the fact it is more entertaining being a spectator than a player. Nonetheless it is one chess variant which would be great to have on a chess server, but apart from one server who I choose not to name, I am not aware if it has been implemented anywhere ealse.

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