My friend Steve is not only an image processing wizard with a book title under his belt, he’s also a chess player. He is modest about his mad chess skillz, but he has done something unquestionably useful for the chess community in creating a nifty chess diagram widget. Written in PHP, it lets you use a standard chess notation to draw images of games easily. For instance, if you write
you get a picture like this:
Venturing farther afield, Steve’s little chess board also lets you indulge in fanciful tactical positions. For instance, can Black be expected to win this game?
Or how about this one: a cautious Black has just castled on his king side, and White has retorted with some ugly, aggressive posturing of his pawns. Now, Black to mate in 4. Do you see it?
Believe it or not, this example is from a real match, the famous Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld vs. Kerry match (2004). Also known as the Guantanamo opening (or, less frequently, the “Hanging Chad”), Black narrowly escapes disaster by buying assorted hardware from the Supreme Court. The debt thereby incurred was simply levied on the audience. Brilliant!
Finally, if you are a fan of M.C. Escher, you’ll enjoy reading about Steve’s chess problem epiphany:
Unexpected chess problem at my office.
Don’t forget to vote!
One thought on “Chess PHP pictures”
On modesty about one’s chess skill:
I was playing Yahoo! Chess the other day here at work, and a co-worker came by to talk about real work stuff (damn those co-workers and their real work talks).
So he says to me, oh great, nice to know someone else in the office plays chess. I says to him cool, you play too, what are you rated? He says to me, he says oh, about two thousand or so over the board. He makes a gentle try to get me to bring a board in so we can play someday, and I says to him nah, too much competitiveness and ego for co-workers. He says great, no problem.
That “over the board” comment sort of stuck with me, so I googled him. Turns out he was the co-champion of the U.S. Chess Federation’s Absolute postal chess championship in 2000.
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