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Alice Chess Set

Inspired by Lewis Carroll's book "Through the Looking Glass," Yasmin Sethi created this Alice chess set where the pieces are opaque until they are put on the board - then they magically turn transparent to reveal their identities.

Link - via DVICE, thanks Sheldon Price!


"This is a comment on how a chess piece has no value unless it is in play on the board. If removed from the board, a pawn and a queen are equal, in that neither have any value."

Umm... I'm not so sure that I agree. The value the pieces have ON the board can be said to be derived from the fact that they are not OFF the board. That being said, a queen worth 9 pawns ON the board should be considered to be worth -9 pawns OFF the board.
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“This is a comment on how a chess piece has no value unless it is in play on the board. If removed from the board, a pawn and a queen are equal, in that neither have any value.”

This statement also got my attention when I first read it. I think that its “Truth” depends on what perspective you take. If you have your queen taken, and it is placed in front of your opponent, then yes, you can look at YOUR queen as much as you want, but it has no value to you since you can’t use it. But if you look at the situation from your opponents view, it has tremendous value since it is indeed off of the board. I think that the statement is most true from the perspective of an observer watching the game, since for the most part, the observer does not have an invested interest in the pieces (unless they have put money on the game of course, then its back to no value).

It’s kind of like Hurley from LOST. Yes, he was a millionaire, but since his money was not with him on the island, did the money have any value to him? Hurley tried telling people his background, but he got no respect. The money was worthless. Zero points.

Side Note: There are several references to Alice in Wonderland on LOST. I wonder if the writers used the above statement about chess to write the character of Hurley?
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"It’s kind of like Hurley from LOST. Yes, he was a millionaire, but since his money was not with him on the island, did the money have any value to him? Hurley tried telling people his background, but he got no respect. The money was worthless. Zero points."

Seems to me that not having his money with him does indeed have a value, b/c having the money has a value. There has to be a reciprocal.

Having the money is worth 'x'
Not having the money is worth the opposite or 1/x.

So by this proof, anything deemed to have value in a given circumstance will have the reciprocal value in the opposite circumstance, no?
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Thomas-

I definitely agree that it's a really neat set. I would love to own one.

One of the things I like about Neatorama is that you can have insightful (albeit sometimes whimsical) discussions over the stories and not get flamed.

Sorry if the math bores you... it's just a silly thing I do :)
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The money had no INTRINSIC value. He couldn’t spend it. Was he upset about it, giving the money some form of value that could be expressed as a NUMERICAL value? Maybe. With the exception of the polar bears, Smokey, Benjamin Linus after you constantly, and Clair’s constant whining about the baby, it was a pretty nice trade off I think. No work, no traffic, beautiful surroundings. You could set up any point system to describe how people personally feel about a situation, but when you get down to the actual value of something, I still think it is zero.
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I guess the value of something cannot have a numerical value put on to the object. I guess this is more a philosophical question than a mathematical one.
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I disagree. The mathematical value of a piece that's not on the board (during a game) is the opposite of it's mathematical value while on the board.

Queen on the board = 9 pawns
Queen off the board = -9 pawns

I guess one way to contradict my own argument might be that the value of the queen off the board is actually zero... but that it leaves the overall value of the the side playing that queen 9 less (or -9).

That would mean that you look at the board with no pieces as being worth -78 pawns (kings having no pawn equivalent).

From a mathematical perspective, it seems the board should exist with a value of zero. Which would mean it's worth nothing without pieces on it. Each piece then adds its respective value to the board... and each piece that's removed removes its respective value from the board.
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Another silly concept piece.

Reminds me of the glass with a picture of a bikini-clad woman. When you put liquid in it, the bikini disappears.

Now there's a concept.
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First thought: nifty.
Second thought: how inconvenient for initially arranging the pieces on the board.

Thought after reading the comments: I interpreted that "off the board" value as in when a game is not in session and the pieces are just stored away. Outside the game entirely, each piece has no more significance than any other. Also reminiscent of the prover, "when the game is done, the king and the pawn go into the same box."
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