CIPC #308: The mouse on the moon

Maybe one day Disney will take over SpaceX and we will really get The Mouse on the moon. For now, however, it is just a 1962 novel by Leonard Wibberly and the movie it got adapted into a year later. It deals with the astronautical ambitions of Grand Fenwick, a duchy as small as it is fictional. The prime minister asks the USA for a loan, nominally for space travel research, but actually for indoor plumbing in the castle. Believing the Grand Fenwick space program to have no chance of success and seeing the amount on money requested is mere peanuts,1 the US agree but make it a gift instead.

Unbeknownst to everyone, the single local scientist and the prime minister’s airheaded but kind-hearted son, are actually planning to go to the moon. As you may expect from that premise and from the fact that this is a light-hearted comedy from the sixties, they do go there.

But very, very slowly. During the trip, they find the chance to play a game of chess. Professor Kokintz is getting impatient and urges his opponent to make a move. That’s not an easy ask, because he is black in what seems to be this position:2

Some pieces may very well be wrong, but the important thing is true: black is running out of pieces. And I honestly would be looking just as miserable as he does were I facing this disaster. But I still wouldn’t play Kg8 like our, well, hero is not the word, perhaps sidekick fits better.

Kokintz replies g5 a tempo and immediately demands another move. That’s understandable, as there is no interest left in this game, but it doesn’t really fit his character, as he often stresses they’re not stressed.

Realism: 2/5 Obviously, black has played on far too long, but that happens quite often.There are a few suspicious things, though, like the bishop on d1 and the fact that white hasn’t mated his opponent yet.

Probable winner: White. Easily.

1. [I use this phrase, but don’t fully endorse it. Peanuts are pretty good.]
2. [For a good diagram editor, get your mouse on the link]