CIPC #373: Orange is the new black S2 E7, Comic sans

Some ten years ago, the whole internet — and presumably the remaining shreds of culture outside of it — was agog with talk about Orange is the new black. It was the first time a really big series appeared on a streaming service instead of on television. It had female prisoners. It had so many lesbians. It dominated the public discourse. Naturally, I had never seen a single episode.

That changed recently, when a chess friend pointed me to the seventh episode of the second season,1 in which some of the prisoners have found the most important of supplies in some supply room and are now eagerly hunched over it among the cardboard boxes.

The view we get of the board is clear enough to make the reconstruction perfectly reliable.2

Orange is down two pawns, but she has some development as compensation. She also has the advantage that her opponent is really, really bad at chess: because white immediately drops a piece with Ba3. However, she also has the disadvantage of being really, really bad at chess herself, because she doesn’t take it. Instead, she goes g5.

Perhaps she knows her opponent very well, though. Without thinking, possibly because that concept is foreign to her, white takes the pawn. This time, orange does take the piece. Why not beforehand? I’m guessing orange wanted more time in the limelight.

Realism: 2/5 The pieces are all on more or less normal places, but the whole thing doesn’t make sense. How did black lose all his queen’s side pawns? Where did white’s queen’s rook go?

Probable winner: Orange.3 Probably, Alva is playing white.

1. [Actually, he first pointed me to episode six which, disgracefully, contains no chess scene. Magnanimous as I am, he is nevertheless still my chess friend.]
2. [Diagram editors are the new bread and butter.] 
3. [Incidentally, I always thought the title referred to the clothing of inmates in the USA, which I assumed to be orange. Yet all the women in this episode are wearing brown instead. What gives? What’s the title about, then?]