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[Comments] (6) Dada Chess: It's no secret that I admire Marcel Duchamp. The mad genius who cackled "I'll destroy them all!" from his bell tower, and then went ahead and destroyed them all. But only today did I create the ultimate tribute to Duchamp: Dada Chess! The latest addition to the crummy.com family of dada toys is an infinite series of chess games in which both players play at random.

I thought this project would take me days to realize, but thanks to Will McGugan's great Python chess library it only took a few hours. I did find a few bugs w/r/t what the chess library considers to be "check" and "checkmate", but I fixed them and sent in a patch.

While I was at it I fixed Dada Maps and Spurious, whose bits had rotted.

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Posted by Leonard at Tue May 26 2009 07:05

I originally did it with tables but they made the files enormous. I guess it doesn't matter too much since very few people will check it out.

Posted by Kevan at Tue May 26 2009 10:16

That's impressive - I was expecting the games to tail off at 1000 moves for the sake of bandwidth and sanity, rather than actually hitting a checkmate. I suppose the pawns end up blocking a lot of the board off.

But I can't tell, because I'm only getting little "character missing" icons for all the pieces, as I evidently don't have the right fonts installed. It is maybe worth generating a simple alternate view, every hour, which uses letters for the pieces? (I assume some ASCII standard notation already exists for chess.)

Or you could use a bunch of img tags compressed into Javascript. This would also make it easier for conceptual artists to steal your idea.

Posted by Kevan at Tue May 26 2009 11:26

And ah, fair enough, I just got down to a "black resigns" after 250-ish moves, where it was just two kings chasing each other around for the last fifty. How often does that happen? (Would it be interesting to keep a running total somewhere?)

Posted by Leonard at Tue May 26 2009 11:45

I think I'll generate an alternate version that uses letters instead of Unicode characters. That should solve both your problem and Jake's. Keeping some statistics would also be interesting. I'm definitely going to call a stalemate when only the kings are left on the board, and highlight the piece that just moved for easier tracking.


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