CIPC #282: Bombay dry gin ad

Oh look, another ad for an alcoholic beverage with a chess theme.1 Just another Wednesday. Okay, let’s get this over with then. Gin is a distilled alcoholic drink that gets its flavour from juniper berries. It evolved from jenever, a type of strong liquor formerly quite popular in the low countries. ‘London dry’ is apparently some kind of quality label for gins and one of the labels that make London dry gin is apparently called Bombay. Before we end up somewhere in the Antarctic, we should perhaps get to business.

From what I found online, it seems this ad was published in 1982, possibly in the US, but in what magazine and when precisely I have no idea. Luckily, I also don’t care. I care about what’s on the board. What’s more, I care about the board. And that’s not something you can say about whoever came up with this ad. For example, they are suggesting that the white knight in the foreground is looking at the bottle. But it can’t be. The knight always has a socle to stand on, which implies it must be standing either on a rank we don’t see any squares of or even next to the board. Consequently, the knight cannot be looking at the bottle.

I don’t know how good my reconstruction is because they are not using a chess board. It’s at least ten squares wide and at that point it might as well be an infinite board.2

This is not ridiculous. Okay, it is, but only because the absurd size of the board. And the fact that some pieces are clearly missing, but that a consequence of our limited window of sight. Apart from that, this seems like a normal game that has been prolonged needlessly.

More worrying is that the ad clearly misses its message by a nautical mile. The suggestion is that the white knight is fascinated by the gin. But white is losing terribly. So instead we get the surprisingly sober message of “get drunk and you’ll lose”.

Realism: -/5 It’s not just that it’s an illegal position, it’s that it’s not even a position.

Probable winner: Black seems to be two rooks up and his pawn is about to promote.

1. [Alas, it is not the beverage that is chess-themed but only the advertisement.]
2. [An infinite board, however, is not yet supported by this diagram editor.]