Nav: (Display/Hide) - Home - About the Author / this page

Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Superhuman, Chess Pieces, and Binary Code

The first performance of the Jan 4 premiere of Superhuman has Zoe Wheeler reciting from memory the sequence of 60 chess pieces (30 white, 30 black). Only there are two types of pieces to memorize: a King (White) and Queen (Black). A 0 or a 1. Binary Code.

Although there are over 1 trillion combinations (more like 118 quadrillion) that figure need not apply here.

Memorizing 60 1's and 0's might be a difficult task, but there are ways to cut down on the memorization significantly.

There are various methods of memorizing groups of binary code, including hexadecimal (grouping four 1/0s together to get 0-9, a-f), and base64 (grouping six 1/0s together to produce a letter or a number). I use the latter since I can memorize a string of 10 letters/numbers easier than other options.

Base 64 Summary:

A set of six 0 and 1's (64 possible combinations) are grouped together to form a single letter or number (A-Z, a-z, 0-9). Two more characters are used for the binary values of 63 and 64 since the total number of letters and numbers = 26+26+10 = 62. There aren't a string of seven black/white pieces in a row, so they can be skipped for the purposes of memorizing this.


The order the pieces are laid out are as follows (Treating a white piece as a 1, with the piece closest to her as the first):

100101 001001 010010 001001 010100 111010 110110 001010 111001 101101

This can be encoded to base 64 as follows:

37 9 18 9 24 58 54 10 57 45
kIRIT 51J4s

Now it's a matter of memorizing this string, converting it back to binary, and reciting it... in front of a live audience.