December 27, 2010

Playing chess with nature

Most probably, if we choose two completely different activities, no matter how impossible would be to find a bridge between them, an analogy or a connection, if we really try to, we will always be able to come up with something:)
OK. We have for today CHESS and CHEMISTRY. How can we put those two next to each other?!

Right now I can think about 3 possibilities:
1. When playing in a team, an important factor for good results is...CHEMISTRY:) But I understand your protests, here it's used in a metaphorical way:) Let's go to number two than:
2. Chess analogies are being used by chemists to illustrate a research method:
- Chess players sometimes can "see" the mating or drawing idea and than , they work backward, to find the right moves in order to reach that particular position.
- In chemistry: working backward is a method for breaking down compounds, bond by bond, into smaller and smaller components.
3. Playing chess with nature: another metaphorical way for chemists to draw attention on how dangerous some chemical substances can be for our nature.

I am going to develop the third point, thanks to the big help I received from Daniel Stellwagen:) He is not only a well-known Chess Grandmaster, but also an expert in chemistry, in which he will soon achieve the final title: Doctor. Only one more norm he has to get: PhD, this is what he is doing right now, if you were wondering why we don't see him so often in chess tournaments.

Underneath you can see how well chemistry and chess can work together:)
IF YOU still remember your chemistry, you will notice that in the algebraic notations of the game, you will come across abbreviations of several elements like hydrogen(H), nitrogen (N), oxygen(O), fluorine (F), carbon (C) and boron (B).
Notations in a chess game can result in several compounds like NH3 or ammonia, a very valuable compound which is the source of nitrogen in plants.

A. The Ammonia Opening:


Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour and commonly used in commercial cleaning products.

B. The Global Warming Openings:

Lately everybody is fighting against the global warming. What we can do, as chess players, is to at least avoid the moves which define hydroflurocarbons:)
Such moves, which can damage the ozone layer and surprise both your opponent and the public, are as follows:

1.c3 f5 2.h3
C3F5H3 pentafluoropropane opening

1. c4 h6 2. f4 
C4F4H6 fluorobutane opening

1. c3 h5 2. f3 
C3F3H5 trifluoropropane opening 

C.The Flyswatter Opening:

Definitely harmful to your ELO rating, but may keep the mosquito population down too:)
1. h3 c6 2. f3
H3C6F3 1,3,5 trifluoro benzene

D. The posttraumatic stress Openings:

After playing an important long game, many of us feel weak, tired or even sick. The following lines might be useful for your debriefing; though it is advisable not to use them too often, since it might cause dependence:)

1. h4 c6 2. Nf3
C6H4F3N trifluoromethyl-pyridine: precursor for various chemicals and pharmaceuticals; 

1. Nc3 c6 2. h3
(NC)3C6H3 benzene - 1, 3, 5 tricarbonitrile, also known as trimesonitrile, precursor to antiinflamatory drugs

E. The Rubber Opening:

1. c3 f6
C3F6 hexafluoropropylene is a type of fluoroelastomer, used in producing synthetic rubber.

Seeing all the above variations, I can happily say that we are one with the nature! I don't think that, as a chess player, you will consciously choose such moves:)

Your turn: It would be very interesting if you will succeed in creating a study where the solution will be a "chemical" one! Two days ago I published 3 studies in shape of a Christmas Tree. Maybe you can be a pioneer by introducing a new category in the world of chess studies: chemical formulas!


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