“To and Fro, Stop and Go, That’s what makes the world go ’round” -The Sword in The Stone
Quite recently I’ve fallen in love with the game of Chess. It was Anya Taylor-Joy’s (The Witch, Split) dazzling performance in Netflix’s mini-series, “The Queen’s Gambit,” as fictional 60’s chess savant, Beth Harmon, that captivated my heart and mind. The series (8-eps) is fantastic! Very high-quality production. The gorgeous set designs and 60s styled characters are a feast for your eyes. And the story is very well written / edited.
The Queen’s Gambit instilled in me a passion for this game that I never could have foreseen. I’d barely even played Chess before the show was released on 10/23/20. Since re-watching the series in recent weeks, I have begun playing multiple matches a day on chess.com (against computers, mostly). Learning the theories behind openings (Game-plans, essentially) piece formations, etc., it’s all very addicting!. And chess.com makes the game infinitely more fun by letting you choose from like 50 or more different bots of varying skill levels, with different personalities! (Can you tell yet that I’m hopelessly obsessed 🙂
I’m simultaneously working on a movie montage about the theme of darkness and light (Yin & Yang, if you will.) I can’t help but notice the parallel to the colors of the pieces on the Chess board, and their relationship to each other. The Yin&Yang koi fish devour each other, just as the black and white pieces dance on the chess board.
Yin and Yang are forces of nature, or elements of the human experience that beget one another. For example, dark and light, hot and cold. You can’t say something is “cold” unless you know what something hot feels like. Similarly, no chess move makes any sense unless it is to try and gain strategic advantage over the opposite color of pieces. Both colors are evenly matched. Actually, white has a slight advantage because white always plays first. Practically, one side has to get the ball rolling. Human understanding necessitates that we enter duality on one side or the other. And, only by understanding one side can the other be understood. Sound familiar here? Some of my blogger friends have wisely instructed me here before🙂☯
Is The Glass Half Full or Half Empty? One idea the YinYang symbolizes is the paradox that opposites can coexist. In the U.S. film editing (My hobby here) is called “cutting,” while in its English cousin countries – The U.K. and Australia, the process is called “joining.” (Is this still true, my UK friends?) And both are correct! Because for every cut that is made in a film reel, that piece of film is then rejoined to another piece of film in order to make the final movie. Walter Murch (Editor of Apocalypse Now) talks about this concept in his very insightful book I’m reading, “In The Blink of an Eye.”
Just wanted to share my comparative observations here between Chess and the philosophy between Yin and Yang. What’s your take on the philosophy? Have you played chess before? What did you think of The Queen’s Gambit? Did you like it as much as I did? Hope you enjoyed reading and let me know if this subject fascinates you in the comments!
Have a great weekend.
P.S. By accident, I am almost referenced the quote as being from, “The Sword and The Stone” What a movie THAT would be, right? 😅