1078: "Knights"

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TomPace101
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby TomPace101 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:51 am UTC

maxQ wrote:We even watched Kenneth Branagh's Henry V in class.


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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Retsam » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:05 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:
SW15243 wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:Yeah after skimming that Wiki article, this battle was the first to make predominant use of longbowman. But ... so what? If there is something funny, insightful, or otherwise worthwhile about this comic, I'm not seeing it.

Yeah, okay. But then it's not really a 'gambit' is it? It's sort of like the 'bring a gun to a knife fight gambit'. It's not a gambit, it's just good sense.
I also still don't get the title text.


I am thankful that my high schol and college education focused on problems solving, not rules. It always seemed strange to me that games, with rigid rules, were deemed to be valuable for any over the age of 10. Certainly for kids games are useful because kids need to learn that rules exist, and they need to followed, but at some point we need to teach independent thought and innovation.

I am often asked why I don't play chess. Because I spend my day solving real problems. I am not saying that chess is bad, or we should not teach kids to play chess, or we should not have chess clubs in high school, just that I would rather see kids building independent projects that learning that life is limited by rules. Because it is isn't. Life is not a football field. Life is not a zero sum game. Life is incredible, and flexible. And those say that I can find out how inflexible life is by robbing a bank, why don't you honestly look at the number of convictions and jail time that the executives of Countrywide, JPMorgan, and Barclays.

I +1 what blowfishhootie said above, but as someone who had great experiences in the high school chess club, I'm going to give my own defense of the game. (it's funny, when I think about what I'm typing I always take sort of a serious tone in my head. The username ruined that)

As was sort of mentioned by the previous post, it's not like "chess is rules" and "life is not", and while the previous poster sort of made the argument "chess is not just rules", I'd make the other argument, "life often is rules". Yes, chess is a fairly simple and controlled set of rules, and in real life the rules are often more nebulous and hard to define, but virtually everything you do in life is part of a system with rules in it. At the most basic level, physics is a set of rules to work in. Or, if you're doing those great "independent projects", you have a budget don't you? That's a set of rules as well. And yes, laws and such are "rules" as well, as much as you seem to be implying that the fact that some business executives got away with profiting off some highly unethical business allows you to rob banks.
What does chess provide? If I had to list two things (from an intellectual perspective, I could also talk about things like patience, discipline, but those things aren't unique to chess. Except perhaps patience; that's a dying breed), I'd give these: analysis and calculation.

Analysis (in the sense that I mean it) is a step above mere observation. It's looking at something complicated and being able to pull out the important details. A good chess player can look at a board position and almost instantly point out threats that are being made, point out weaknesses, etc. They can look and see the forest, rather than seeing all of the trees. This is a key real life skill. It's part of debating, to pick a somewhat relevant example. You need to be able to take the deluge of statements that the other person just threw at you and pick out what their key points were, but more importantly, what are their starting assumptions and what the base of their argument is. You don't just contradict everything they say, you word your response in such a way that strikes at the heart of their argument. (Or, more often, you just forget actual well-reasoned arguments, and just rely on something else, like charisma ... or volume)

And calculation is not in the sense of what you'd punch into a calculator, (chess might not make you better at doing long division in your head) but it's about weighing options and coming to a decision. Analysis guides your thought-process as you think about the game, but choosing an exact move often comes down to calculation. "Should I take with the knight or my pawn", "Should I react to his threat by defending my piece or by taking his, or by making a threat of my own?". Sometimes it's a simple numerical calculation, (There's a generally accepted hierarchy of pieces that is a guideline for their relative value) more often it's a somewhat subjective (yes, subjective in "black and white, zero-sum, rules based chess) comparison between disparate goals. (How do you compare material advantage, to king safety, to offensive initiative?)

And calculation, in this sense is probably my most noticeable gain from playing chess. I definitely see it in other games I play where I can make decisions quicker and with more confidence than other players, because I know the reasoning behind the move I'm making. I've always said it helped with multiple-choice testing. Basically, anywhere where I have a goal and I'm trying to find the best path to that goal (a very real world problem), this skill comes in handy. (Setting goals on the other hand, is a skill of mine that needs improvement)

But yeah. I think chess is a great game, and one that more kids need to be exposed to. Is it the only game they should play, or even the best game ever? No, and perhaps not. Other things teach other skills, (I'm currently on a Diplomacy kick, if you're familiar with that, and it teaches a few other... skills) and there's room for being well-rounded. But chess shouldn't be marginalized as "that old-fashioned black-and-white game that has no room in our modern 'flexible' culture".

[Edit: And holy crap was that a long post. Whoops. Also I realized that what I refer to as "analysis and calculation" others might call "strategy and tactics", but I think we hear those words often enough that they may have as a culture lost most of their meaning. Some people don't even realize that there's a difference]

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Re: For Historical Accuracy

Postby kkt » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:29 am UTC

Misopogon wrote:Image
That is all.


I like this one better than Randall's.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby kkt » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:31 am UTC

ahammel wrote:
Monika wrote:Gambit means a type of chess opening http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambit. Actually this is not a gambit because nothing is sacrificed. But it's just combining a chess term with a real battle term.

It's totally a gambit: White sacs both his knights. It probably worked about about as well for him as for the French.

maxQ wrote:I had a LOT of Shakespeare in High School English. A lot. I think I had read everything except King Lear before college.

You read Two Gentlemen of Verona and King John, but not Lear?

*dies*


Possibly they thought Lear would not appeal to high school students, as it's mostly about the problems of old age.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Diadem » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:38 am UTC

Retsam wrote:Analysis (in the sense that I mean it) is a step above mere observation. It's looking at something complicated and being able to pull out the important details. A good chess player can look at a board position and almost instantly point out threats that are being made, point out weaknesses, etc. They can look and see the forest, rather than seeing all of the trees. This is a key real life skill. It's part of debating, to pick a somewhat relevant example. You need to be able to take the deluge of statements that the other person just threw at you and pick out what their key points were, but more importantly, what are their starting assumptions and what the base of their argument is. You don't just contradict everything they say, you word your response in such a way that strikes at the heart of their argument. (Or, more often, you just forget actual well-reasoned arguments, and just rely on something else, like charisma ... or volume)

And calculation is not in the sense of what you'd punch into a calculator, (chess might not make you better at doing long division in your head) but it's about weighing options and coming to a decision. Analysis guides your thought-process as you think about the game, but choosing an exact move often comes down to calculation. "Should I take with the knight or my pawn", "Should I react to his threat by defending my piece or by taking his, or by making a threat of my own?". Sometimes it's a simple numerical calculation, (There's a generally accepted hierarchy of pieces that is a guideline for their relative value) more often it's a somewhat subjective (yes, subjective in "black and white, zero-sum, rules based chess) comparison between disparate goals. (How do you compare material advantage, to king safety, to offensive initiative?)

Entirely agreed. An even more important skill that chess teaches you, at least if you play it at strong amateur level and above, is a solution-based approach to problem solving.

When good players play a game of chess, the central theme in their strategy is the plan. They don't just do random moves, they make a plan in their mind of where they want to game to go. Then they determine how to best achieve this, how their opponent can counter it, how they avoid those counters, etc. It's a very systematic and analytical way of thinking. But more than that, it's a solution-based way of thinking. This is an extremely useful skill in nearly every job later in life.

Also, let's not forget. Chess is great fun. And if you think the rules are too confining, I'd like to introduce you to the art of chess problem composition. This is an art unto itself, sadly receiving very little public recognition because, well, only good chess players can understand it, but some chess problems are absolutely stunning.

(I'm currently on a Diplomacy kick, if you're familiar with that, and it teaches a few other... skills)

When talking about diplomacy I always have to think about that line from a John Lennon song: But first you must learn how to smile as you kill. A useful skill indeed!
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby fhippogriff » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:01 am UTC

In the Kenneth Brannagh movie of Henry V, the French were on the right and the English archers were on the left. That has been burned in my head (along with the best St Crispin's day speech ever....). So this chessboard arrangement is the mirror image of "the way it should be". Funny how movies mess with your head like that.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Sonic# » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

Great comic for a great battle. One funny part is that white is only a few decades away from winning.

kkt wrote:
Possibly they thought Lear would not appeal to high school students, as it's mostly about the problems of old age.


That's like saying that Macbeth is mostly about the problems of actuarial prediction. King Lear is about what happens when the wielder of arbitrary power withholds his own right, about the relation between the person of the king and the state, about madness, about judgments of love and loyalty, and about far more. The fact that King Lear is old is important, but the play is not "mostly about" that.
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The toil of all that be
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And still the sea is salt."
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:We are the knights who say 'knee'!

No no no it's not that, it's "ni". You're not doing it properly.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

W3ird_N3rd wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:We are the knights who say 'knee'!

No no no it's not that, it's "ni". You're not doing it properly.

Nuuuuu!

Bien sûr, there are also les knights who say "oui".
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby fishfry » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:10 am UTC

SiriusBeatz wrote:I believe this is the reference here. I had to look it up myself, too.


Yes, I looked that up too ... but I didn't read it all. Is there some reference to sacrificing horses?

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby CatOfGrey » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:34 am UTC

And yet no one mentions that the Bishops, not pawns are sometimes referred to as 'archers'.

And in some opening systems, they actually function like archers, hiding in a corner and threatening from afar....

This also reminds me that Bishops are called 'elephants' in some places, which is warfare from another continent altogether...

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Biliboy » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 am UTC

W3ird_N3rd wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:We are the knights who say 'knee'!

No no no it's not that, it's "ni". You're not doing it properly.


A year ago you would have been right, but then cometh Skyrim and from then on any reference to arrows must include a 'knee' somewhere.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby SerMufasa » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:33 am UTC

Biliboy wrote:A year ago you would have been right, but then cometh Skyrim and from then on any reference to arrows must include a 'knee' somewhere.


I was going to make this comment, but then I took an arrow to the knee.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Daimon » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

csoanes wrote:The english longbow was the WMD of it's day, until effective mass musket fire came in. We still have a law on statute that grants every english 'yeoman' (i.e. a 'free' man that owns property) the right to carry a longbow in public. It's also still law that every able bodied man be proficient with the bow, and all other sports are technically forbidden on sunday, to encourage the practise of archery.


I don't know about you, but I'd would so go around the city with a Longbow and arrows, only to throw that law on the police if they try to confiscate it/arrest you.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby blowfishhootie » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:40 pm UTC

csoanes wrote:The english longbow was the WMD of it's day, until effective mass musket fire came in. We still have a law on statute that grants every english 'yeoman' (i.e. a 'free' man that owns property) the right to carry a longbow in public. It's also still law that every able bodied man be proficient with the bow, and all other sports are technically forbidden on sunday, to encourage the practise of archery.


I have heard this "law" offered for a laugh many times, and it definitely sets off the old "bullshit detector" in my head; it reeks of lame chain email crap that someone made up just to see how far it would go. I have never once been offered any legitimate source proving it is a law on the books. However, there are plenty of arguments online claiming to prove that no, there is no such law in force in England. Here is one that originally appeared in Forbes magazine (it is actually about a related alleged law, but the arguments seeming to prove this old law is off the books also apply to your claim):

http://www.loweringthebar.net/2010/06/d ... ctice.html

On June 11, the Reverend Mary Edwards, of the village of Collingbourne Ducis in the UK, demanded that all members of her parish report to the village recreation ground for archery practice as required by a medieval law that has never been repealed. Or at least that’s what she claimed.

"It's an unrepealed law from some time in the Middle Ages," said Rev. Edwards, "and I can call all the men - but I've extended it to all people - in the parish to archery practice." This is where I started to get suspicious, because even if this law were still in effect, I doubted a local reverend would have the right to extend it unilaterally. While I am always happy to see somebody invoking an unrepealed medieval law, and I have no problem with archery in general, the research she cited did not seem especially ironclad. And, in fact, it appears that the archery requirement was repealed quite a while ago.

While I would have preferred to fly to England and go rummaging through the Parliamentary Archives to confirm this personally, I had a deadline to meet, plus I am not especially welcome there anymore because of what I see as a simple misunderstanding as to whether their reading rooms are clothing-optional. So I have relied on the Internet, which is less authoritative but also less judgmental.

Now Go Away or We Will Shoot You a Second Time It is clear that there were laws requiring archery practice dating back to at least the 13th century. The motive was to make sure England had enough men trained to use the longbow, which for centuries was a crucial weapon for the English. (The most famous example is Agincourt, a battle that Henry V won in 1415 and is still going on about.) The training requirement was usually combined with prohibitions on other kinds of games and sports so that people would focus on archery instead of, for example, "tennis, football, [quoits], dice" and other "games inappropriate." 12 Rich. II, c.6 (1388); see also 11 Hen. IV, c.4 (1409) (adding handball to the blacklist). The point was not so much to condemn games as to make sure they did not get in the way of longbow training. In other words, they saw nothing morally wrong with tennis, it’s just that it is hard to kill a French knight with a tennis ball, no matter how good your serve is.

In 1511, the requirement was expanded by “An Act concerning Shooting in Long Bows,” even though by then the importance of the bow was declining. 3 Hen. VIII, c.3 (1511). This law provided that "All Sorts of Men under the Age of Forty Years shall have Bows and Arrows" and practice using them. The playing of games continued, however, and in 1541 the law was expanded yet again by "An Act for the Maintenance of Artillery, and debarring unlawful Games," the preamble to which declares that said games were believed to be the "Cause of the Decay of Archery" skills in England. 33 Hen. VIII, c.9 (1541). (There was another very important cause by then, namely guns – or, more specifically, bullets – but games always seem to get blamed for social problems.) The archery requirement was extended to all men under 60, and the list of banned games was expanded. As before, though, these restrictions did not apply to the aristocracy. They tended to become knights, not archers, plus they had the God-given right to play games if they liked. According to them, that is, not God.

At least some of this was still on the books well into the 19th century, but was probably repealed during the reign of Queen Victoria. In 1845, "An Act to Amend the Law concerning Games and Wagers" repealed any part of King Henry’s 1541 law making any “Game of Skill” unlawful or “which enacts any Penalty for lacking Bows or Arrows . . . or which regulates the making, selling, or using of Bows and Arrows . . . .” 8 & 9 Vict., c.109 (1845); see also Statute Law Revision Act, 26 & 27 Vict. c.125 (1863) (repealing the 1511 law). If any of the older stuff survived, it was most likely repealed by more recent acts intended to get some of the ancient stuff off the books. See, e.g. Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1969, c. 52 (repealing laws dating back to 1297). So, while I could not definitively resolve this because of The Reading Room Incident, it appears that Rev. Edwards’ parishioners were not legally required to respond to her summons. I believe that, under other possibly unrepealed laws dating back to Henry VIII, the villagers now have the right to confiscate all church property and to declare themselves divorced.

Rev. Edwards did not impose any penalty for not showing up, and in fact those who did show were rewarded with a barbecue. So no harm done, and England is probably at least a little safer now, just in case the French ever become threatening again. But, eventually, Rev. Edwards admitted that the defense of the realm was not the primary goal of the event. "We are celebrating the building of a new loo in the church," she said.

Surely the parishioners would have come out to celebrate that anyway.

Link: BBC News
Note: This item previously appeared (without citations) on Forbes.com, for which I am now writing a weekly column that strangely enough is also called "Lowering the Bar." Those columns will show up here a week after they first run. This column on medieval archery law was my first one for Forbes and, surprisingly, not my last.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

Daimon wrote:
csoanes wrote:The english longbow was the WMD of it's day, until effective mass musket fire came in. We still have a law on statute that grants every english 'yeoman' (i.e. a 'free' man that owns property) the right to carry a longbow in public. It's also still law that every able bodied man be proficient with the bow, and all other sports are technically forbidden on sunday, to encourage the practise of archery.


I don't know about you, but I'd would so go around the city with a Longbow and arrows, only to throw that law on the police if they try to confiscate it/arrest you.


That sounds like fun, up to the point they actually arrest you.

The police can be pretty creative at coming up with things to arrest you for, and if it turns out that there is a law saying you have the right to carry a longbow in public, that law absolutely will not protect you from arrest if the police want to arrest you.

And while there is a phrase that says you are innocent until proven guilty, still it can be inconvenient and expensive to be arrested, and arrange bail, and persuade a lawyer to help you avoid being proven guilty, etc. Not to mention the problems of parole and probation etc.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby ahammel » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

CatOfGrey wrote:And yet no one mentions that the Bishops, not pawns are sometimes referred to as 'archers'.

And in some opening systems, they actually function like archers, hiding in a corner and threatening from afar....

This also reminds me that Bishops are called 'elephants' in some places, which is warfare from another continent altogether...

The elephant is a different piece (a 2-2 leaper).

Never heard bishops refered to as "archers", either, but Wikipedia tells me that's what they're called in Czech and Slovak.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby flicky1991 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
CatOfGrey wrote:And yet no one mentions that the Bishops, not pawns are sometimes referred to as 'archers'.

And in some opening systems, they actually function like archers, hiding in a corner and threatening from afar....

This also reminds me that Bishops are called 'elephants' in some places, which is warfare from another continent altogether...

The elephant is a different piece (a 2-2 leaper).

Never heard bishops refered to as "archers", either, but Wikipedia tells me that's what they're called in Czech and Slovak.


The Wikipedia article also says they were originally meant to be elephants. You didn't need me to Czech that for you.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:03 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
ahammel wrote:
CatOfGrey wrote:And yet no one mentions that the Bishops, not pawns are sometimes referred to as 'archers'.

And in some opening systems, they actually function like archers, hiding in a corner and threatening from afar....

This also reminds me that Bishops are called 'elephants' in some places, which is warfare from another continent altogether...

The elephant is a different piece (a 2-2 leaper).

Never heard bishops refered to as "archers", either, but Wikipedia tells me that's what they're called in Czech and Slovak.


The Wikipedia article also says they were originally meant to be elephants. You didn't need me to Czech that for you.


I read a long time ago that in the original chess the bishop was called a boat, and it could only move two spaces on the diagonal and could jump over a piece to do that.
But now I see wikipedia agrees with all that except it says the rook was called the boat, and the bishop was called an elephant, or some places a camel. Of course, sometimes the rook was called an elephant too, just as the person who taught me chess called it.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby rcox1 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:47 pm UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:
rcox1 wrote:
SW15243 wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:Yeah after skimming that Wiki article, this battle was the first to make predominant use of longbowman. But ... so what? If there is something funny, insightful, or otherwise worthwhile about this comic, I'm not seeing it.

Yeah, okay. But then it's not really a 'gambit' is it? It's sort of like the 'bring a gun to a knife fight gambit'. It's not a gambit, it's just good sense.
I also still don't get the title text.


I am thankful that my high schol and college education focused on problems solving, not rules. It always seemed strange to me that games, with rigid rules, were deemed to be valuable for any over the age of 10. Certainly for kids games are useful because kids need to learn that rules exist, and they need to followed, but at some point we need to teach independent thought and innovation.

I am often asked why I don't play chess. Because I spend my day solving real problems. I am not saying that chess is bad, or we should not teach kids to play chess, or we should not have chess clubs in high school, just that I would rather see kids building independent projects that learning that life is limited by rules. Because it is isn't. Life is not a football field. Life is not a zero sum game. Life is incredible, and flexible.


Amazing. You go on this rant about how we shouldn't play chess because life is either living in the fake world of "games" or spending the day "solving real problems." Those two ideas are in contrast to you. But then your conclusion is that life is "flexible." What? Which is it? Is it super black-and-white, where every moment needs to be dedicated to "solving real problems" (whatever the hell that is), or is it flexible and open to independent thought?

People shouldn't play chess (a rule you've made up), because life is flexible and not subject to rules. It makes no sense.

Also, chess is no more bound by rules than anything else in life. If you play in a professional tournament it is, sure, but what percentage of chess is played in professional tournaments? Just read this thread for myriad examples of variance within the game of chess. It is possible to be creative and think independently even when playing a "game." But please, don't let me get in the way of your pathetic love of patting yourself on the back. I mean, you solve "real world problems," unlike the rest of the world. Hooray!

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby ahammel » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:53 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:The Wikipedia article also says they were originally meant to be elephants. You didn't need me to Czech that for you.

Right, and they were originally 2-2 movers. Although, reading it again, I see that they're still called "archers" in Russian and Turkish.

J Thomas wrote:I read a long time ago that in the original chess the bishop was called a boat, and it could only move two spaces on the diagonal and could jump over a piece to do that.
But now I see wikipedia agrees with all that except it says the rook was called the boat, and the bishop was called an elephant, or some places a camel. Of course, sometimes the rook was called an elephant too, just as the person who taught me chess called it.

For extra confusion: the camel is also an entirely different fairy piece (a 1-3 leaper).
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Xlythe » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:59 am UTC

There was talk about variants of chess (moving around pieces beforehand, but keeping that same grid) so I thought I'd drop a link to Tactics Arena. They're not chess pieces, but the game's feels the same (though its a dated game now). Can't post direct links: http://www.tacticsarena.com/

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby rhetorical » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:50 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:
Dr. Diaphanous wrote:In England, the battle of Agincourt is one of the most famous battles ever, along with Hastings, Waterloo, the Somme, and a few others. Is it widely known in America?


Only by those who particularly like/study history. When I was in high school (over 20 years ago ... ugh), I remember having a sidebar in my history textbook about the longbow revolutionizing warfare, but I'm sure most of us wouldn't have remembered that Agincourt was the specific battle (if it was even mentioned).


Or by those who played Age of Empires 2, one of the best games ever made.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby glibdud » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

No one seems to have noticed yet that he fixed the errors...

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby SerialTroll » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

glibdud wrote:No one seems to have noticed yet that he fixed the errors...


Excellent. As an avid chess player, the errors really bothered me. Good to see Randall reads the posts and corrects. Ne3 as an opening move made my eye twitch...

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Max™ » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:12 pm UTC

I still say chess should be resolved by statting out each piece in Mutants and Masterminds (2e, thank you) and running the game over several sessions in which at least half a city is razed with the checkmate taking place on a bridge with the opponents queen being dangled over it, seemingly helpless before she spends a hero point to dramatically pull the king over the side and apparently fall to her doom, only for everyone to rush over and find her dangling from the side of the bridge.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby ahammel » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:20 pm UTC

glibdud wrote:No one seems to have noticed yet that he fixed the errors...

Left the unnecessary ellipses in the alt-text, though.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby glibdud » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:Left the unnecessary ellipses in the alt-text, though.

Yeah, that one has a bit more legitimate claim as artistic license, though. The others were just blatant errors.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby pierreb » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:The Wikipedia article also says they were originally meant to be elephants. You didn't need me to Czech that for you.

Right, and they were originally 2-2 movers. Although, reading it again, I see that they're still called "archers" in Russian and Turkish.

J Thomas wrote:I read a long time ago that in the original chess the bishop was called a boat, and it could only move two spaces on the diagonal and could jump over a piece to do that.
But now I see wikipedia agrees with all that except it says the rook was called the boat, and the bishop was called an elephant, or some places a camel. Of course, sometimes the rook was called an elephant too, just as the person who taught me chess called it.

For extra confusion: the camel is also an entirely different fairy piece (a 1-3 leaper).


Well, the French call a Bishop piece a Fool. It did occur to me when I was younger that the fool's hat is supposed to have three sleighs and not just one.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby HenryT » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:35 pm UTC

I, as an archer and medieval history geek, would very much like a T-shirt of this cartoon.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby neoliminal » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:21 pm UTC

The notation is incorrect.:

1. Nf3 ... ↘↘↘ ??
2. Nc3 ... ↘↘↘ !!
0-1
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby ahammel » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:27 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:The notation is incorrect.:

1. Nf3 ... ↘↘↘ ??
2. Nc3 ... ↘↘↘ !!
0-1

Why is shooting the Nf3 a blunder?
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby shokoshu » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

Oh, BTW, there are numerous arrows in the Chess Informant annotation system...
http://www.chessinformant.rs/system-of-signs/
...but "Cover, Incoming!" ↘↘↘ is still unused.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Soteria » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:08 am UTC

echosam wrote:Historic reality: Longbowmen won Agincourt, but not with longbows. Modern tests show that the English "Bodkin point" tipped arrow was unable to penetrate the French heavy armor...


I hear this claim parroted a lot, and I've watched some of these tests, but I've yet to see one that showed that the bows used at that time were incapable of killing armored knights. I've watched 4-5 tests, and all shared two flaws: they use much lighter bows than period yeomen bent. Recovered bows indicate a draw weight of 160 lbs was common, yet many of these tests use a 120 lb bow (or lighter) because modern archers just can't fire heavier bows accurately. The second problem is that they always favor the armor by pitting the bow against the thickest part of the breastplate. It would be like historians 300 years in the future claiming that US troops in 2006 were immune to lethal rifle fire because SAPI plates are effective protection against AK-47 rounds.

It's a ridiculous claim if you stop to think about it, particularly in light of the fact that one of the best eyewitness accounts of the battle (by a Frenchman) states that the arrows were plenty dangerous:

"...but the French began to hold down their heads, especially those who had no bucklers, for the impetuosity of the English arrows, which fell so heavily that no one durst uncover or look up... Thus they went forward a little, then made a little retreat, but before they could come to close quarters, many of the French were disabled and wounded by the arrows..." http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/agincourt.htm

I honestly can't stand revisionist history. Look, if someone tries to tell you that a historical event didn't happen because of a "scientific" test, despite what the historical account says, they're almost certainly wrong.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:44 am UTC

Soteria wrote:I honestly can't stand revisionist history. Look, if someone tries to tell you that a historical event didn't happen because of a "scientific" test, despite what the historical account says, they're almost certainly wrong.


I think it depends.

If the historical account says that a miracle man went to the top of a hill and built an altar, and he poured (salty?) water all over the altar and soaked the ground around it, and he got a lightning bolt to light his fire, you can probably believe it.

If the historical account says that a battle was supposed to take one day, and God stopped the sun from setting for an extra 24 hours so the winners could spend longer killing the losers, don't believe it. Far more likely it was something else, like maybe the winners had made a pledge to somebody or other that they'd only chase the losers and slaughter them for 1 day, and then they *broke the promise*, and they made up the story rather than admit they were liars and cheaters. But whatever the explanation, you should believe the scientists who say the earth did not stop turning for a day and not the historical account which says it did.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby bmonk » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:23 am UTC

pierreb wrote:
ahammel wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:The Wikipedia article also says they were originally meant to be elephants. You didn't need me to Czech that for you.

Right, and they were originally 2-2 movers. Although, reading it again, I see that they're still called "archers" in Russian and Turkish.

J Thomas wrote:I read a long time ago that in the original chess the bishop was called a boat, and it could only move two spaces on the diagonal and could jump over a piece to do that.
But now I see wikipedia agrees with all that except it says the rook was called the boat, and the bishop was called an elephant, or some places a camel. Of course, sometimes the rook was called an elephant too, just as the person who taught me chess called it.

For extra confusion: the camel is also an entirely different fairy piece (a 1-3 leaper).


Well, the French call a Bishop piece a Fool. It did occur to me when I was younger that the fool's hat is supposed to have three sleighs and not just one.

There is a SCA? site on Medieval chess which mentions the old French names, including fool or elephant--and also a note on Courier Chess, which introduced the bishop's move (though the piece was called the Courier).
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Soteria » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:25 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:
Soteria wrote:I honestly can't stand revisionist history. Look, if someone tries to tell you that a historical event didn't happen because of a "scientific" test, despite what the historical account says, they're almost certainly wrong.


I think it depends.

If the historical account says that a miracle man went to the top of a hill and built an altar, and he poured (salty?) water all over the altar and soaked the ground around it, and he got a lightning bolt to light his fire, you can probably believe it.

If the historical account says that a battle was supposed to take one day, and God stopped the sun from setting for an extra 24 hours so the winners could spend longer killing the losers, don't believe it. Far more likely it was something else, like maybe the winners had made a pledge to somebody or other that they'd only chase the losers and slaughter them for 1 day, and then they *broke the promise*, and they made up the story rather than admit they were liars and cheaters. But whatever the explanation, you should believe the scientists who say the earth did not stop turning for a day and not the historical account which says it did.


Ok, I agree with where you're going, but only to an extent. If a source is incredible, then that would be a good reason to accept a revisionist explanation. Of course, the Bible, which you cite here, is the most reliable ancient source we have. I assume that's why you're not just dismissing these two Biblical stories out of hand.

Here's my disagreement with what you're saying: by definition, a supernatural event would be outside the realm of what science can explain. Obviously, the sun standing still for a day is physically impossible, and the scientist who says as much is only being honest. However, moving from "that's physically impossible" to "a supernatural event couldn't have happened" is a statement of faith. On a matter of faith in a supernatural being, I don't know why anyone should believe scientists over anyone else. Basically you're approaching the account with that presupposition God, if he even exists, does not perform miracles. There's nothing wrong with that, but that presupposition is no better than that accepts an active deity, and there's no more reason to take a scientist's personal beliefs as gospel than a rock star's.

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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby J Thomas » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:07 pm UTC

Soteria wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
Soteria wrote:I honestly can't stand revisionist history. Look, if someone tries to tell you that a historical event didn't happen because of a "scientific" test, despite what the historical account says, they're almost certainly wrong.


I think it depends. ....


Ok, I agree with where you're going, but only to an extent. If a source is incredible, then that would be a good reason to accept a revisionist explanation. Of course, the Bible, which you cite here, is the most reliable ancient source we have. I assume that's why you're not just dismissing these two Biblical stories out of hand.

Here's my disagreement with what you're saying: by definition, a supernatural event would be outside the realm of what science can explain. Obviously, the sun standing still for a day is physically impossible, and the scientist who says as much is only being honest. However, moving from "that's physically impossible" to "a supernatural event couldn't have happened" is a statement of faith. On a matter of faith in a supernatural being, I don't know why anyone should believe scientists over anyone else. Basically you're approaching the account with that presupposition God, if he even exists, does not perform miracles. There's nothing wrong with that, but that presupposition is no better than that accepts an active deity, and there's no more reason to take a scientist's personal beliefs as gospel than a rock star's.


I'm not just saying to believe the science when the reports say a miracle happened. I'm saying to disbelieve the reports when there's reason to think they're lying.

So for example when the king of Israel instituted a census, and various people objected because it made him too powerful, and immediately after the census there was a terrible plague which killed so many people that the census became utterly unreliable, and then people blamed the plague on the census, they said if the census had not happened, neither would the plague.

Isn't it plausible that there was in fact popular resentment for the census, which would let the king track individual people to tax them etc, and that the plague was overstated as a way to discredit the census?

Similarly, when people got upset that the king was sending Israelites to foreign countries as forced labor, and he announced that they would each be sent to Tyre for one month and then come home and work for him in Israel for 2 months at a time, what should we believe? Did Solomon actually march 10,000 men to Tyre and back each month? Or did he just make an announcement to claim he was not actually selling his people as slaves to foreign nations?

The text is careful not to admit that Israel was a vassal state of Tyre. But Tyre provided technological aid to Israel for giant public works projects, in return for what Israel could provide -- food and people. When Tyre let Israeli ships travel with their fleet.... Of course the Israelite records would try to imply more that it was an equal relationship, or even that Hiram was paying tribute to David and Solomon. In general, the court records of third-world dictatorships will lie in predictable ways.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:27 pm UTC

Soteria wrote:Here's my disagreement with what you're saying: by definition, a supernatural event would be outside the realm of what science can explain. Obviously, the sun standing still for a day is physically impossible, and the scientist who says as much is only being honest. However, moving from "that's physically impossible" to "a supernatural event couldn't have happened" is a statement of faith. On a matter of faith in a supernatural being, I don't know why anyone should believe scientists over anyone else. Basically you're approaching the account with that presupposition God, if he even exists, does not perform miracles. There's nothing wrong with that, but that presupposition is no better than that accepts an active deity, and there's no more reason to take a scientist's personal beliefs as gospel than a rock star's.

There are very good practical reasons to assume that miracles do not occur -- which is simply to say, that inexplicable phenomena do not occur, or more to the point, that all phenomena which do occur are explainable. (Which is not to say "explained" by current theories, mind you).

Namely, that reason is that if we assume that there are unexplainable (or even wholly unobservable) phenomena, then we have no way of having a reasoned discourse about what they might be and whether they occur. It just becomes a shouting match between people making different baseless assertions. On the other hand, if we assume that any phenomena which occur will be, in principle, observable and explainable by anyone, then we can confirm each other's observations and test each other's explanations against them until we come to some kind of agreement.

Anyone insisting that there is some phenomenon which is unobservable or just inexplicable is simply dodging any attempts to question or verify their claims about that phenomenon in a most intellectually dishonest way. They are free to believe the phenomenon occurred without having observed it or without being able to explain it, but that's a far cry from saying it is inexplicable or unobservable, or that others should accept it without observation or explanation.

And on the subject of past events where we can't directly observe them, unless we have some residual effects of them on the world that we can observe today (e.g. the way we can tell about the Chixulub meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs by ash layers in the fossil record, petrified forests washed out to sea in the Gulf of Mexico by the resultant tsunamis, etc), we have to weigh the words attributed to people claimed to have been there at the time against our understanding of the kind of phenomena which can occur and ask ourselves "Which is more likely: that our understanding is wrong in this particular way, or that these accounts are false?" Either could be the case, and sometimes we do rely on past records as data to build our models of how the world works, but there is a weighing that has to be done there, the credibility of the source vs the incredibility of the claim. We can easily believe even an unreliable source that something rather mundane happened, but we need a really good reason to trust a source making a really extraordinary claim.
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Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Crown of Fire » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

rhetorical wrote:
SerMufasa wrote:
Dr. Diaphanous wrote:In England, the battle of Agincourt is one of the most famous battles ever, along with Hastings, Waterloo, the Somme, and a few others. Is it widely known in America?


Only by those who particularly like/study history. When I was in high school (over 20 years ago ... ugh), I remember having a sidebar in my history textbook about the longbow revolutionizing warfare, but I'm sure most of us wouldn't have remembered that Agincourt was the specific battle (if it was even mentioned).


Or by those who played Age of Empires 2, one of the best games ever made.


Yes... yes it was. I had some great times with that game. AoEIII didn't do anything for me unfortunately.


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