01 January 2024

More pop culture chess imagery - imposter syndrome and getting ahead of 99% of people

I randomly ran across the below recently, which are some more good examples of pop culture chess imagery - which is often wrong or misleading, so maybe not good.

Visual by Harsh Darji - artist's Instagram

This one I originally encountered in the article 10 Powerful Visuals You Need To See Before You Enter 2024 on Medium.com. It has a superficially valid chess metaphor: the queen looking at a mirror and seeing a pawn, as an illustration of "imposter syndrome" - but it seems to me that it doesn't really work. Visually there's the fact that it depicts a White queen is looking at a Black pawn, which doesn't make much sense in a chess context - switching sides is not an option for pawn promotion. There's also the overall squishiness about the imposter syndrome concept, so its depiction isn't necessarily clear.

The next one is a stock photo used to head the Medium.com article by Alexandru Lazar entitled Ten Habits that will get you ahead of 99% of people. You can find it various places on the internet, but the imagery is clear: a White king on a bare board knocking over his counterpart, normally done when taking a piece. A powerful-looking visual intended to convey supremacy - but in fact an illegal move in a position that is a forced draw. Authors who use faulty chess imagery like this tend to lose credibility instantly, at least with chessplayers, so here's a plea for people to avoid doing that.

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