CIPC #190: Kentucky Tavern ad

No interesting introduction this time. The New Yorker of February 2nd 1946 contains an advertisement for the Kentucky Tavern brand bourbon. It features a chess board. I’m going to talk about it.

The board has been set up wrongly. The book is almost certainly made-up. Someone has served a chessboard on a serving tray. The glasses contain more liquid than is missing from the bottle, so it’s not the first one. Someone’s about to get drunk.1 Things are generally terrible.

The position on the board is this:2

(Possibly this position should be turned 180°.) The last move must have been Nh3-f4#. Or perhaps Nh3xf4#. Black’s move before that must have been an inaccuracy. He should have resigned instead.

But there is something stranger going on here. How is black supposed to reach his glass? The bottle is in the way! What gives?

Here’s my theory. White is probably drunk already. Fancying that he has a friend, he has poured an extra glass. It will remain undrunk until the morning. Then it will be the beginning of the next hangover.

Realism: 4/5 Black should have resigned long ago, of course. But this is a position that could occur on lower levels.

Probable winner: Black is mated. So white.

1. [Hence the Hemingway terseness.]
2. [You can make diagrams with this.]