CIPC #183: Energizer ad

A chess player’s biggest dream, a chess player’s worst fear: the battery. A well-crafted battery, pointing confidently to the opponent’s king, is a source of great joy. It makes you want to prolong the game just to bask in its glorious presence. It makes you want to spend the rest of the day trying and computing several sacrifices. On the other hand, a battery pointed in your direction by some perfidious opponent is enough to make you break out in cold sweat and rue the day you ever picked up our noble game.1 Of course, any move with such an impact is bound to be advertised and indeed, here is (part of) a still shot from an advertisement for a battery:

The concept of the commercial is that two toys, some guy in a weird corporate jumpsuit and what looks like a Funko-pop spaceman, are playing chess together. Whoever directed it gets props for giving us some nice, high-resolution shots of the full board and for using standard Staunton pieces.

Before we take a look at what they did with those pieces, let’s take a look at the dialogue:2

Funko thingamajig: Check!

Jumpsuit guy: Hm. Aha!

Let’s pause this highly edifying conversation for a moment! What do we have on the board?3

This! Except that they have rotated the flipping thing 90° again.4 Black — i.e. the Funko spaceman — has just played Rd5+ and announced the check, as mentioned above. In view of his extra queen, things are looking rosy for him.

But then the jumpsuit smurf finds an extraordinary riposte: Nc2-c3!

Funko thingamajig:[keels over]

Yes, this seems to be the appropriate reaction. Not only did white play an illegal move, but he also didn’t resolve the check. But there still remains a remnant of humanity in the jumpsuit smurf. Seeing how his callous indecency hurt his friend, his guilt speaks up and lets out a

Jumpsuit guy: Noooo!

that would do the darthest of vaders proud.

But I suspect all that is nothing but a clever ploy to hide the fact that there’s not a single battery on the board.

Realism: 0/5 The original position — with its massacred pawns,its undeveloped pieces, and its implausible knight placings — would already have cost many points, but that horrid knight jump takes it to flat zero.

Probable winner: That depends on how long Funko is going to be out. If he’s going to pull an Olland,5 his opponent will win on time. If he makes a swift recovery, the fact that his opponent is down a queen and doesn’t know the rules is going to tell.

1. [This is why there are laws against battery.]
2. [Because that’s what commercials are for!]
3. [Let me also advertise this tool for making batteries,]
4. [What’s that? That’s pun! And that too! But not that.]
5. [Just to save you a google search: he died of a heart attack during a game for the 1933 Dutch championship.]