Chess has been on my mind for a while, possibly because I’m frightfully bad at it. I might be able to pull off long-term strategy, or short-term tactical maneuvers, but I can’t ever quite seem to marry the two. It’s always one or the other. Anyway, while thinking about Chess pieces, I started thinking about the Chess board.

When I first learned to play, it was impressed on me how important the center four squares are. From there, a cunning player can potentially control the entire board. That’s my understanding, anyway. The center is typically a high-traffic area, and therefore it is desirable to keep it out of the hands of one’s opponent.

I started to think about the different parts of the board and how they tend to interact with different pieces and parts of the game — the home rank, the sides of the board, the center, and the corners. I’ve been contemplating a Chess variant resembling a tower defense game, and then I made a connection between files and lanes.

One hastily-drawn pentagon later, I had five different positions: home, the center, the corners, ranks, and files. Each had its own specific uses and particular advantages. I quickly arranged them in a pattern where they had a clear checks-and-balances arrangement. After all my discussions about terrain, I found my types — in Chess.