Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Chess: The Scourge of our Times

Sitting in the pub the other week, me and my friends decided that one of the problems we have in achieving an integrated, harmonious society in Britain is the continued existence of the game of chess. It is self-evidently racist. White is always placed on the attack, forcing black to defend itself semi-constantly. And then it's no surprise that white wins twice as often as black does.

But the scourge goes even further. Knights are present, with their crusading undertones. And the only religious figures on the board are bishops. Why not rabbis or imams? Although, I suppose, seeing as the bishops can only move obliquely, maybe that's less contentious after all.

What do republicans and believers in social justice do? The king has to be protected at all times; and the pawns are kept in subjugation by only being able to move slowly and in small measures.

Then again, they are able to promote themselves if they get across to the other side of the board. So perhaps it's all a metaphor for social mobility?