Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BLUE (11/09/17)
TITLE: War Game
By Elaine Hemingway
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There is a bigger battle going on around us all with eternal ramifications. It is a Spiritual Battle characterised by the serving of false gods. Satan is subtle, he doesn’t reveal his strategies clearly but he draws in his converts with controlled temptations.
One of the interesting adult games remaining a major challenge is Chess, not a game I have ever mastered but one that has recently presented me with a thought-provoking lesson.
About twenty years ago the world champion of chess was a Russian called Gary Kasparov who found himself in a strange championship game. His opponent was a bionic brain, a computer programme prototype named Deep Blue. Kasparov's god was his game, just like so many who put their sport at the top of their worship list. For Gary Kasparov the game of chess was his life priority; his game was indeed his god.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters below; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them..” (Exodus 20:4,5a)
In the game of chess there are 32 pieces but in the battle between the prophets of Baal and the God of Elijah there were far more. They found out the hard way who was God and who was not. The gods called upon by the prophets proved unable to do what Elijah asked of them. Only Elijah’s God sent down fire to demolish the sacrifice and dry up the expanse of water surrounding it.
When the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant it was placed in the temple of Dagon. The next morning Dagon was down. The image was put back but the following morning he was down again, with his face and hands broken. What could be done? The Ark had to be moved though with dire consequences every time until it was finally returned to Israel.
In the many battles of the Old Testament, God proved his supremacy, and he was no less prominent in the battle between bionic brain and man’s attempt to better it with his own. Deep Blue became the first machine to win a chess game against a world champion but was it the machine or the many man- brains that worked in its programming? There were replays and questions thrown about by the media, but with the optimal values of the parameters being determined by examining many thousands of positions and grand-master games, Kasparov questioned its validity. He wanted to study other games that Deep Blue had played in an attempt to better understand the programme but that was not allowed by the designing company. He claimed that he recognised intelligence and creativity in the moves made suggesting the participation of human intervention, but Deep Blue was eventually closed with no chess rating being established.
So what is chess all about? It seems each side has 16 pieces of which eight are brave little foot soldiers who only move forward and are in the front line. They are allowed to capture a Queen or a Bishop and if one is clever enough to make it across the board he becomes a Queen! Attempting to prevent his brave endeavours are two Knights who have more freedom of movement and are allowed to capture a Rook as well as the Queen or Bishop. But the Bishops are rather wily and come in twos, only moving diagonally whereas the Rooks, that are actually Castles, move in straight lines as far as they wish. It is already intricate but wait; there is a Queen who can move anywhere on ranks, files and diagonals. The King has to be guarded at all costs and expects his army to do all the dirty work for his protection.
Complicated? Yes, but our God is able. He inspired- the inventor, gave the expertise to the Deep Blue efforts, and reigns supreme in technological expertise.
"All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord." (Proverbs 16:2)
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