Endgame

“But this ship can’t sink! She’s made of iron, sir, I assure you she can. And she will. It is a mathematical certainty.”

-Titanic

There is a moment in every chess game where the final outcome is deemed imminent. Black or White will win. The ship will sink. The best players see it before everyone else, same as moves. That is why one of the truest tells of a good player is how quickly they resign.

“People should know when they’re conquered.”

“Would you, Quintus? Would I?”

-Gladiator

One of the most humbling aspects of Chess is something I’ll call the 50/50 phenomenon. It applies to all games, theoretically – All games with good matchmaking systems, that is. But chess is a particularly elegant example given the dual nature of the game to begin with… It’s being reduced to an average player no matter your skill level. What I mean by that is, as you improve you get matched against players who have also, improved. Such a perfect system as to make you feel like you are always playing against yourself. Against your doppelganger, if you will. Unless you are Magnus Carlsen you should expect to win exactly as many times as you lose… Take a moment. Let that bomb shatter your ego to smithereens like the parliament building in V for Vendetta.

Unless you are THE BEST player. The SINGLE best player, basically, of a game played by BILLIONS of people, you will feel perfectly average. Read about the psychology of the big fish in a little pond. Gladwell wrote about it in one of his books.

This is similarly why I adore Fortnite; it’s a perfectly modern reminder we are all losers. For those unfamiliar, it’s what “the kids” are playing these days. You get dropped onto an island barren of love, and laden with guns and ammunition, where your objective is to outlast all the other players. Win or Die, essentially. The same words are inscribed on the United States Constitution, I believe.

Cliffhanger

E.F.

21 thoughts on “Endgame

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    1. Yes, to me the Fortnite video game island is the same as The U.S. An analogy. Barren of love and laden with guns and ammunition. When it comes to guns, I ascribe to the philosophy adorned on Goliath’s shirt in the golf movie, Happy Gilmore, “Guns don’t kill people, I kill people.”

      I fear the free market, despite its proven benefits (And I can’t think of a better system) is a zero sum game, and is therefore headed for trouble. The big fish keep swallowing up the little fish. It’s just like monopoly. Disney just ate another Empire studio, 20th century fox. Bezos and Mickey Mouse are gonna be making all the movies going forward.

      Forgive me, RR, I woke up hungover and facetious this monday morning. Hope you are having a good day.

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  1. I used to play chess a long time ago but haven’t recently – and even when I did I was only beginner level (or my own level it seems 🙄 from your analysis). I need to find a decent, non advert bloated copy of a chess game for my laptop.
    But Fortnite? I know a little about that, despite never playing it. I kinda got introduced to foam dart flinging last year and there are Fortnite branded foam blasters based on weapons from the game. I have the big yellow Silenced Pistol based on the shape of a .50 Cal Desert Eagle.
    I’m not sure if Fortnite is a 1vs1, or player vs player game, I thought it was more multiplayer. As such I can’t say if it is like Chess or Lord of the Flies (Last Man Standing).
    In regards NERF and foam flinging I do know there are regulated games so no one individual or group has a power advantage due to their inventory/weapons but maybe a Tactical Intelligence that will win out. BUT I do know that I would rather have a NERF pointed at me launching foam projectiles than some from a real steel counterpart (lucky I live in the UK so it’s unlikely). Even with that in mind I prefer to aim my foam darts at an inanimate target and test to see if I can hit it at extending ranges.
    Sorry this might be rambling, but basically I am no Chess Master and I’m no Blaster Master!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe not a Blaster Master, but a Master Blaster!🎹🎶😎 Have you tried chess.com? I love it. No ads.

      Yup I’ve seen those fortnite blasters. I really want one haha. The game itself is Last man standing format (100 players per match)! Or Duos (50 pairs), Squads (25)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll give chess.com a look, this past year despite seeming busy I have had a few days off from designing and probably will this year too. Chess will be relaxing.
        I’ve tried watching Fortnite on Twitch (I know a few acquaintances that play games and stream on there) but when I try to follow the action it becomes a blur. It doesn’t help I only have a 13in screen to view it on – not one of these monster gaming rigs everyone seems to have.
        The blasters from the game are pretty cool but are more expensive to pay for the licensing and branding. The yellow Silenced Pistol (called the SP-1) I mentioned is a good blaster that has internal storage for three regular type darts, and you can use it with or without the suppressor/silencer. Some of the motorised blasters are more pricey.
        But talking of motorised blasters, Mrs Tyeth found one for me in a Salvation Army Thrift store…a Nerf minigun! It is belt fed, has an ammo box to put the belt in and has a tripod stand. Only drawback? It takes SIX D-Cell batteries to power it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A minigun blaster? Yes sign me up🙋🏽 I used to have a submachine gun (10 round magazine) with serious stopping power. The thing recoiled when you fired I’m not joking. I used it so much it broke, and I couldn’t find it again! I feel like nerf was like legally obligated to pull it from the shelves Haha

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi again, yes a NERF minigun. It’s called the Vulcan EBF-25 in the US and in the rest of the world it’s called the Havok-Fire EBF-25. EBF stands for “Electronic Belt Feed” and 25 is the capacity of the belt. I have seen people modify this blaster with 18V cordless drill batteries and and it shoots like an A10 warplane…BBRRRRRRRRRRT!!! Only problem is it burns the blaster out into a smouldering lump!
        I haven’t actually gotten my hands on it yet as Mrs Tyeth found it in the village where her mother lives and Mrs T hasn’t been home yet but I’ll let you know how good it is when I can. I’m trying to think which model you must have owned now…..was it a Rapidstrike?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. A-10 warthog💥💥 Nice! That sounds awesome haha. Let me know when you get to try it out. The one I had… Shoot I can’t even find it on the internet. It was blue and yellow One side was transparent clear. You could see the inflatable air chamber inside. There was a long orange handled’d pump that ran inside along the bottom of the gun. You pumped it several times until the air chamber felt like it was gonna explode (Which of course is how I broke it) And the air pressure could sustain the whole magazine.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ooh, I haven’t seen an air powered blaster that is also semi transparent. I’ll take a look online for you and see if I can find it (or I can ask my friend Captain Xavier who runs a YT channel). If it is the blaster I think it is they often ruptured the pipe near the pressure gauge (if yours had one). The air system was called a HAMP -High Airflow Manual Pressure!
        If you want you can check this page out:
        https://nerf.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Air-powered_blasters
        it should have your blaster listed on it somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Wow! That’s old school classic. Only problem was the clip/magazine slid up into your vision as you tried to aim it. Nerf made some cool stuff once upon a time.

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  2. Good analogy between Fortnite and the U.S. A gentleman once wrote that “no man is an island” and another scoundrel wrote “you may not be interested in war but war is interested in you” but if you put them together you pretty well have the Fortnite universe.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like this very much: succinct and sharp; I’ve never played Fortnite and I’ve never finished a game of chess but I like the analogy; ‘Squid Games’, from what I can gather, has parallels to ‘Fortnite’; keep on posting; you’re interesting

    Liked by 1 person

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