CIPC #240: Lewis S5 E3, The mind has mountains

If you read this blog, there is a good chance you like dissecting chess positions that occur in movies or television series. But maybe you don’t like spending watching movies. Well, then I have the episode for you! Just a couple of minutes in, the credits are barely over, before a single person has died, we see a game of chess being played. As it turns out, the people in the picture below are participants in a clinical trial for a new anti-depressive drug.

The guy in the suit that people are looking at is the doctor supervising the project.1 The players are participants, but I’m wondering whether they might be in the control group. After all, a8 is a white square.

This episode would also fit on a ‘maths in popular culture’ blog, by the way. You are organising a drug study and you have about a dozen participants? I don’t even want to read your paper, I just want to reject it. Of course, given the current state of psychology, it’s probably going to get published in a highly thought of journal and get a million admiring citations. But let us focus on what really matters in life: chess.2

This is the best I can do. I am reasonably sure of the positions but not of the identities of the pieces.4

Surprisingly, the position is not too implausible.3 Admittedly, the players seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of castling, but that is not too unusual. Also, white has been quite careless with his pieces.4 Perhaps the doctor could try to come up with a cure for that?

Realism: 3/5 Nothing remarkable, nothing interesting.

Probable winner: Black is up a couple of pieces. That should do it. Unless, of course, one of the players drops dead before the game is over.

1. [Which is probably why is in focus.]
2. [The mind has mountains, I have links to diagram making websites.]
3. [At least more plausible than the impending psychology article.]
4. [Spoiler: he later overdoses. It is never made clear whether the two things are related.]