Friday, June 24, 2011

Wonderland Chess

As some of you may know, I have gone through some changes lately. A couple nights ago, while unpacking some boxes, I came across two little boxes of what look like small playing cards. They are actually chess pieces.

Each piece is made of four cards. They are four of the same card and they are taped together and cut in such a way that they can stand straight up and be seen from all angles as the same card. From the top each piece looks like an X.

There should be four boxes of pieces like this; one for each suit. I can only find two.

I know, this is supposed to be about chess and those look like cards. So let me explain.

Back in high school I had these dreams about Wonderland. Actually, the dreams continued for several years past high school. The most memorable Wonderland inspired dream starred the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter driving a Ford Model T through the streets of Lake Havasu City. Of course they were going way too fast and overturned the car. I tried to talk to the Rabbit, but he kept tapping his watch. The two used the hand crank so vigorously that they righted the car and sped off.

There was often a chess theme in these Wonderland dreams. Floors were black and white or black and red and the cards would move about in what I thought to be random directions. Or that is what I believed after the first two or three of these dreams. Upon further reflection and more dreams I realized the cards were moving about Wonderland using the movements of the Kings, Queens, Knights, and pawns of chess.

One day I was about to leave a store when I saw party favors on sale. I reached into the bin with the tiny bicycle decks, and pulled one deck out. There was a furious spinning in my mind and then I could see my red and black folding chess board with the cards moving on it in place of my usual chess pieces.

I did the quick math and threw the four tiny decks in my cart (how many kids would appreciate playing cards anyway?). About an hour later I had my chess board all set up with my new pieces. I made a special game of chess with four players. I modeled Wonderland Chess after Enochian Chess.

I had read about the symbolism of playing cards. The four suits are the four seasons (four Elements) and the 52 cards are the 52 weeks in the year, and this amazing surreal game made much more sense to me than that convoluted Golden Dawn creation.

What I didn't realize until years later... I had recreated Four Seasons Chess. Four Seasons Chess is, ironically, the game Enochian Chess was based upon.

Now I want to make a new set of pieces using a four-color deck.

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