CIPC #227: Etsy ad

Etsy is quite famous in America but I think it is far less popular here in Europe, so perhaps a little background information is in order. So here we go: etsy is a website founded all the way back in 2005. It is a portal on which everybody can open a personal little shop, usually used for selling handmade craft items. It as an enormous business nowadays, with a revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars. And of course, enormous businesses advertise.1 Sometimes there’s chess in their advertising.

The story of this spot is that a mother notices her sons obsession with dragons. In an attempt to lure his attention away from the computer screen,2 she orders a dragon themed chess set on etsy. The ploy works, because otherwise it wouldn’t be very good advertising. Soon, she is playing a game of chess with her son.

She has taken white, perhaps because it’s easier to explain a game if you go first, perhaps to better crush her unfortunate child — for crush him, she does. Here’s the position they’re facing:3

but there are some major caveats here. I only have a top-down view of the board to work with, so while the positions of the pieces are certainly correct, their identities might not be. In particular the piece on c2 is a bit dubious. Moreover, they’re using non-standard pieces. The ad’s narrator asks

Narrator: When uniquely handcrafted is out there, why buy boring?

Well, because with standard Staunton pieces you have a chance to see what you’re doing, of course!

Then again, maybe that’s precisely the excuse the son wants to hide behind while learning the ropes. Because he’s utterly lost. His mom, not completely devoid of a certain smugness, picks up the rook on h1 and places it on h8. Perhaps with a bit of luck, he can find a chess teacher on etsy.

Realism: 3/5 There are some slight oddities, like the fact that white’s rooks are still on home base at such a late stage of the game. But there’s nothing majorly wrong.

Probable winner: White. Mate is mate.

1. [The bastards!]
2. [Why?! He was probably reading some highly educational blog about the representation of chess in popular culture!]
3. [You don’t need to run to etsy for a good diagram.]