A chess game that mirrors life

I have been thinking about this kind of chess game this past month. You set up the board Fischerandom style. That is, the pawns rest on the seventh rank as in normal chess. The pieces are placed at random on the eighth rank, under certain restrictions. Before each move the player must roll a die whose faces are marked with a 0, 1, or 2. Each number has an equal probability of showing up. If the player rolls a zero, she forfeits her move. If she rolls a one, she makes one move. If she rolls a two, she makes two moves in succession. Then it is the other players turn to roll the die and see if she can play. As you can readily tell at a glance the mathematical expectation of the number on the die over the long run is one. Things will even out if the players play enough games. The better player will score the most wins.

This game seems a perfect metaphor for life. We control our fate, yet chance happeneth to us all as the Bible says.

I think about my time with V this way. What if we had not been drinking with each other? What if I had not kissed her then? What if I had not invited her to Galena then? What if she had not been reckless enough to go? What if chance and design had not operated together all the way through to bring us where we are?

I would not have V nor read any Calvino. I would be the somewhat melancholy man I was before I met her. I would be far less than I am today.

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Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  

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