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Subject: XKCD: Puzzle rss

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K H
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Randall has done it again.
http://xkcd.com/1287/




Overtext:
Prediction for Carlsen v. Anand: ... 25. Qb8+ Nxb8 26. Rd8# f6 27. "... dude" Qf5 28. "The game is over, dude." Qxg5 29. Rxe8 0-1 30. "Dude, your move can't be '0-1'. Don't write that down." [Black flips board]
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Chris Rogers
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Is the joke just that a 9x9 Go board could be used for Chess? That seems like a pretty straight-forward observation...
 
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Daryl McLaurine
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It is a meta-game joke, Chess being a battle, Go being the entire War.

But you know...you *could* play both, on the same board, simultaneously...

There is an Anime featuring a evil mastermind and manipulator, playing several games (chess, shogi, go, checkers...) all at once, supposedly reflecting his plans in the real world.
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Jaap K
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Quote:

The game of go (also called Weiqi, Baduk or Igo) is usually played on the 19×19 intersections of a grid, but sometimes a faster, simpler version is played on the 9×9 intersections of a grid (which thus has 8×8 squares, as a chessboard, though they are not colored in an alternating pattern - introduced to chess in the 13th century). In the comic, white has chess figures and plays against black, which uses go stones.

In chess, particularly in puzzles, the phrasing "White to move" indicates that it's the White player's turn; "White to play and win" indicates that it's White's turn and the next series of moves (if White plays correctly) will result in an advantageous position or possibly outright win for White. The caption "White to continue insisting this is a chessboard" is a play on this traditional phrasing. The same kind of phrasing is also used in Go puzzles. In Go puzzles the objectives are often of a local or tactical (as opposed to strategic) character, such as "White to capture four black stones" or "White to live in the corner".

Two versions of the board were posted by Randall: both had white after Pe3, Pd4, Nf3, Nc3, but the first with an extra bishop at e4 (B@e4), the second after Bd2.

B@e4 in the first version of the board was perhaps intended to represent confusion in White's mind whether he was playing Go (placing a piece) or Chess (it's a chess piece) - as a 'placement' this move could have been first, and could explain Pe3 with e4 already being blocked.

It it unclear who has gone first. In Go it is traditional for black to go first, while in Chess it has been traditional for white to go first for about a century. Indeed, both players have made five moves, although the caption/"punchline" implies it is the start of white's sixth turn (though if black did go first, none of his/her pieces are in the 3-3 handicap positions marked on a 9x9 Go board).

The title text refers to the upcoming 2013 World Chess Championship between Carlsen and Anand. Magnus Carlsen is a 22 year old Norwegian chess grandmaster, who had the highest peak rating and was the third youngest grandmaster in history. He was the world's 2009 blitz champion and is currently ranked #1 in the world by FIDE. Viswanathan Anand is a 43 year old Indian grandmaster currently ranked #8 in the world.

The game transcript in the title text refers to the ending of the famous Opera Game between Paul Morphy and the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard. That game ends with 16. Qb8+ Nxb8 17. Rd8#. In the title text, Black continues to make moves as if he has not been checkmated, over White's protests. After White uses his rook to capture Black's king (to emphasize the checkmate), Black defiantly writes "0-1" (the notation symbolizing a Black victory, as capturing the king is an illegal move, and in blitz chess rules its a loss) on his scoresheet and flips the board. "0-1" may also represent a position on a go board (first down on the top left corner) in certain coordinates systems.

The game transcript is written in standard algebraic notation. The destination square is represented by a lowercase letter (a-h, on the x-axis) and a number (1-8, on the y-axis), with the bottom-left square being a1 and the top-right square being h8. The uppercase letters refer to the piece that is moving to that square (e.g., Q = Queen, K = King, N = Knight, R = Rook), so Qa1 would mean moving the Queen to the bottom-left square. The absence of an uppercase letter refers to a pawn's move (e.g., "f6" means moving a pawn to f6). If the move captures a piece, an "x" is inserted between the piece and the destination (e.g., Nxb8). Checks are indicated by +, and checkmate by #.

From: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=1287
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Russ Williams
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By odd coincidence, another webcomic just did a chess comic too:

(If you don't know Oglaf, it is generally NSFW, but this particular one about chess has no nudity or sex...)

http://oglaf.com/automaton/

"King's pawn to under the couch for six months"
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"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
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I read that explanation and I still don't get it.
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Jaap K
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MWChapel wrote:
I read that explanation and I still don't get it.

Me neither
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