In the nineties, you could make a music video to an international top ten hit with a cheap video camera, some randomly assorted friends, and a villa hired for a day.1 It is precisely this approach that Luniz, an American rap duo, took for their 1995 song I got 5 on it. On its surface, it is about someone wanting to put some money in a marijuana deal, but I don’t buy it. That is just a decoy to make sure it gets recognised as rap. The real reason anyone ever listened to this is the baseline. Or it was until recently, when I listened to it because there’s a chessboard in the video.
It can be seen quite close to the beginning, before its rightful position in the spotlight gets usurped by a pool table, some dudes talking about weed, and a scantily clad lady dancing.
But these are just idle distractions that do not work on an experienced chess nerd. He notices immediately that h1 is a black square. He doesn’t notice much else, though, because the image quality is too low. His best attempt at a reconstruction is as follows, but many extra pieces may be hiding on black’s queen’s side:2
…and I’m not a hundred percent sure that the royalty is on the places shown here. But it doesn’t matter greatly. It is anyway clear that the players have been messing around, paying little heed to the decorum our royal game rightfully deserves.
Instead of carefully pondering their next move, both players are amusing their primitive instincts by hitting their knights together, somewhere above the queen’s side. And for all I know, they have been doing so ever since.
Realism: 2/5 My reconstruction is so dubious that I hardly dare to give less than 2.
Probable winner: Who knows? The position we have on the board is still double-edged. And it’s far from sure that it’s anywhere close to the reality.