Ernst exhorted us to fill our minds with the Truth of the threefold Oneness in many ways, that this Truth would thereby brim the ordinary boundaries of consciousness and allow us, in an afternoon of "solitary exaltation", to travel spontaneously. He compared this practice to the many symbolizations of the Catholic Church, whose great Truth he saw as "infinitely encompassing" the "minor but delightful Truth of our little-known sport". This philosophy of "over learning" coupled with the historical fact that Ernst was indeed a keen chess player (a companion of the great chess master Zuckertort, whom he often met upon repairing to coffee house after hours of strenuous meditation, the same coffee house where it is often supposed by enthusiasts that he slyly engendered The Time Machine in the mind of his young friend, the novelist H. G. Wells) is perhaps the basis for the legend that Ernst himself originated traveler chess. But the game almost certainly traces to Charleston, South Carolina, and was invented either by a Union solder named Scudder, an Ohioan and an obscure proficient, or by a recently freed slave of his acquaintance, name and origin, alas, unknown.
In traveler chess, every piece is allowed one quiescent actualization. The oddity of the game revolves around the fact that identical chess pieces are interchangeable. Often it is entirely unclear which piece is in actualization! A piece that might be actualized is said to resonate. Another interesting feature is a rule that each second passage must be supported by a resonator. A resonator supports a passage by being within three moves of the square through which the passage occurs, and a piece may only support one second passage per game. Again, it is often unclear which piece supports which passage. The only requirement is that every passage can have been supported. Pieces step through their second gates in moves that may not capture actualized or possibly actualized pieces or first gates. A player loses if his position becomes impossible or if his King faces immediate capture by an opponent with no actualized pieces.
Many accomplished riders have credited traveler chess with helping them develop their skills. The Smith manuscript vividly describes the facial contractions the game often induces. A genre of hermeneutical literature has grown up about the nuances of the rules.
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