Chess is hard and I can’t even play it yet


My chess game program is coming together nicely.  By that, I mean that when I swear at code that doesn’t work, it is now audible as opposed to internal.  My mentor says she can tell I’m progressing based on the diversity of swears I’m muttering.  Apparently, I’m a true programmer now.

Yesterday, I spent the day trying to get my program to calculate valid moves for each piece.  It’s surprisingly hard to ensure that your pieces don’t move through other pieces. It doesn’t sound that bad…just look at where your piece is, then look at one square up from that.  If that square is free, try the next one up, until you hit another piece.  Then  STOP. Then try one square to the side, two squares to the side….etc.

Well much as I tried to teach my code to follow a damn straight path, it would be like “Ok, I’ll check the first square.  Now I’ll check the one at the end of the board!  That seems like a good one to look at.  Ooh, there’s something in the way.  But that’s ok because the bishop can totally jump over other pieces.”  Stupid code. It was totally doing that on purpose.  Nothing to do with my brilliant programming, I’m certain.

Needless to say, much of yesterday was spent watching Jimmy Fallon clips. I mean, once you start on them, you just can’t stop.  Have you seen interviews with Jennifer Lawrence?? Plus, “what’s in my box,” is a pretty hilarious game.  Then once you’re deep into those videos, the handy Youtube algorithm starts suggesting Conan clips and Jimmy Kimmel clips, and Ellen clips. Then once you see Amy Schumer(not to mention a nearly topless Miley Cyrus), you’ve lost all form of self control. You see, I really had no choice but to follow the endless spiral.*

Eventually, I came across a clip of Emily Blunt discussing how she was required to renounce the Queen when becoming a U.S. citizen.  Suddenly, a wave of dread swept through me.  Queen. I had no idea how to make the queen move in my chess game. So I decided to put it off for another day.  Naturally.

Today I spent the entire damn day trying to get my queen to move properly.

As I was complaining to my teacher, she said “yeah, that’s pretty hard…also have you thought about how you’re going to implement ‘en passant?’”


She must have seen that reaction on my face because she then followed up with the question:”Wait, have you ever actually played chess?”

In response to my indignance, she explained the rule to me (look it up; I refuse to explain such nonsense). Subsequently, she said, “Well, I’ve played a few hundred games myself, and it’s come up 5 or 6 times.”

At which point I informed her that this rule would most definitely not appear in my game.  I just barely held back my snort.**

My strategy in chess is to move around randomly and take as many pieces as I can before the other person check mates me. There are enough rules already.  My opponents are lucky I have the mental capacity to even correctly move a horse—I mean—knight.


After hours of coding, much screaming and much banging of my head, here’s what I’ve got:

chess game


I’m going to cry.


On an unrelated note: I’ve decided that I much prefer the single quote to the double quote, and I’m very much upset that this is not the standard in most writing.


*An insight on these celeb interviews:

Unless a celebrity SPECIFICALLY says in any given interview “I love him/her like a brother/sister, “ BOOM, they’re dating.



**Castling will obviously not be a feature either.


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