CIPC #322: Coffeecompany ad

Not that long ago, I wrote about an advert for a Colombian delivery company. The position depicted there was quite believable, even though it was aimed at a broad target audience. So from an advert aimed at chess players we can definitely expect even more! But if we do, we will be sorely disappointed.

Case in point, this advertisement for a little chess tournament to take place in one of the branches of the coffeecompany. It seems quite safe to assume it was meant to appeal to chess players.1 And yet, the position on the board is patently absurd.

The perpetrators of this ad have attempted to hide their misdeeds with a top-down shot, which makes identifying the pieces harder. But it doesn’t make it hard enough to detract obsessive chess nerds with blogs about the representation of the game in popular culture. And even a layman can recognise that the board is set up wrongly. Anyway, the position on the board is definitely this one:2

The position is so obviously ridiculous that there’s not much point in talking about it: there’s no reasonable explanation for the two white dark squared bishops. In fact, the most interesting thing about the position is that it is possible, just barely, that both sides can still castle: if black’s d-pawn took white’s light squared bishop on the e-file, was in turn taken by white’s d pawn, and that d-pawn ended up taking black’s dark squared bishop on d8 or f8 the black king need not have moved.

And this could’ve been prevented so easily! Just removing one of white’s bishop, preferably the d2 one, would have solved this problem and have left a perfectly plausible position. But once again, I think I spent far longer thinking about this position than the designer did.

Realism: 1/5 It pains my heart that I cannot give this the 0 it so richly deserves, but the position is technically legal.

Probable winner: White is up a piece. He has a very bizarre task in converting his material advantage, but I’m sure he’ll manage.3 Sure, he’s silly enough to promote to a bishop, but his opponent was silly enough to allow it.

1. [I have a nice conspiracy theory about this: this posted was designed by someone who wanted to play himself. He wanted to improve his chances of winning by scaring of serious players.]
2. [And the best diagram editor is definitely this one.]
3. [With Bg5 and taking on f6 he could make his task a lot less bizarre.]