Lewis Carroll's game of chess The sequel to Alice in Wonderland is based on a game of chess.
The Red Queen. The Red Queen must be cold and calm; she must be formal and strict, yet not unkindly; pedantic to the tenth degree, the concentrated essence of all governesses! The White Queen.
The White Queen seemed, to my dreaming fancy, gentle, stupid, fat and pale; helpless as an infant; and with a slow, maundering, bewildered air about her just suggesting imbecility, but never quite passing into it; that would be fatal to any comic efect she might otherwise produce.
Contemporaries: MacDonald Potter Kingsley
1. Does it matter?
2. Other Pieces?
3. Child at play - rules?
4. "Check" rule?
5. The easy checkmate vs the pawn promotion plan?
Games prominent in the Alice books - the first with its deck of cards and croquet.
Stories likely originated as Charles Dodgson was teaching the game of chess to Alice Liddell.
Initial setup: White: Pawn (Alice) d2; Rook f1; Knight f5; King c6; Queen c1
Red: Knight g8; King e4; Queen e2 - White to play and mate in 11 moves.
Carroll's description of the chess problem, in his Preface to the 1897 Edition is accurate. The final mate is completely orthodox. It is true, however as Carroll himself points out, that red and white do not alternate moves properly, and some of the "moves" listed by Carroll are not represented by actual movements of the pieces on the board (for example Alice's first, third, ninthe and tenth "moves," and the "castling" of the queens, where they all move to the 8th rank; Alice, promoted from Pawn to Queen at d8 between the White Queen at c8 and the Red Queen at e8. The most serious violation of chess rules is at the end where the White King is put in check by the Red Queen without either side taking account of the fact. Both sides play an exceedingly careless game, but what else can one expect from the mad creatures behind the mirror. At two points the White Queen passes up a chance to checkmate and on another she flees from the Red Knight when she could have captured him.
Considering the staggering difficulties involved in dovetailing a chess game with an amusing nonsense fantasy, Carrol does a remarkable job. At no time, for example, does Alice exchange words with a piece that is not then on a square alongside her own. Queens bustle around doing things while their husbands remain relatively fixed and impotent, just as in real chess games.
The giant chess board
The "advice" of the Red Queen.