Last week I challenged friend, fellow historian and blogger Robert Horvat to a game of chess, which we agreed to play publicly on-line–he’s in Australia, I’m in Oregon. Since then the “Great Trans-Pacific Chess Game,” or #HistoriansChess as it has been termed on Twitter, has now gone fourteen moves, fifteen including the move I announce in this blog. (Today is May 27, 2016). Who’s winning? Well, so early in the game it’s tough to tell, but it’s already been a fun and interesting match!
I am white and Robert is black. After a sort of dull opening involving pawns, Robert started to develop his knights–a good early-game strategy. Probably the most significant thing that has happened so far is a dramatic threat by Robert’s bishop, who glided across the board to take a pawn and put me in check. He’s since backed off a little, but obviously the game is about to take an interesting turn.
My latest move tonight is a pawn, e-3 to e-4.
Below is a nifty animated file I made, depicting the entire game as it has unfolded so far.
For those of you who are chess nerds, here’s the official PGN format of the game thus far:
1. a4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 e5 5. b4 Bxb4+ 6. c3 Ba5 7. Ba3 h5 8. e4
And here is what the board looks like at my house. The photo at the top of this article is a close-up of my king, who is modeled to look like King Arthur.
This has already been a great experiment. Keep watching the hashtag #HistoriansChess to see how things turn out!