A long, long time ago, we discussed an issue of Existential comics in which Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were seen playing a game of chess. Today, we are revisiting the same webcomic, but this time it deals with a rather pedestrian1 take on class conflict: two nameless pawns — the ones on d3 and e3 — are discussing their fate, with one of them complaining about their lot and his rather restricted capturing abilities.
But their discussion — and, indeed, their lives — are of no interest to us. We only care about the position on the board. Sadly, the artist has not graced us with a clear view of the complete board, but we see enough to reconstruct most of the position:2
I’ve only shown the pieces I know the position of. As we don’t see the last few ranks, I can’t really complain about the absence of black’s king. And the position, while it has some eccentricities, is not too ridiculous either. So what am I going to grumble about? Well…
The fourth panel of the comic. And the fifth. In the former, a light square has appeared to the bottom left of white’s king. In the latter, the image is focused on the d3 and e3 pawns, but there’s enough space besides them that the c2 bishop and the f4 queen should be visible — but they aren’t.
And all these horrible circumstances take their toll on the young3 and impressionable pawn on e3. In pure unfocused rage, it starts to attack its own side and take the queen on f4. That’s what too much Kierkegaard does to you.
Realism: 0/5 The position is not so silly, but the inconsistency kills it. Like so many philosophies.
Probable winner: Black, since white’s forces are starting a civil war.4
1. [If I was writing this blog in Italian, that would have been a really nice pun. But I don’t play the Italian.] ↩
2. [Thanks to existential diagram editors.] ↩
3. [So young it still believes in philosophy!] ↩
4. [467 is prime, by the way. Not particularly relevant, but it’s still worth pointing out.] ↩