It's possible to have a tie, where nobody wins. This is called a stalemate, and it's considered to be the most undesirable outcome possible. In short, the object of the game is to get to the other guy, past all his defenses, before he gets to you. If nobody gets gotten to, it's no fun.
The first time we see Kirk and Spock play, Spock is winning, but Kirk just finds another way to "get to him"! LOL God, that is really symbolic! It's a way of saying Spock wins in the abstract sense, but Kirk is a winner in the real sense. Each in his way, they both win something. It's a way of quickly highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, and also to show something about their relationship to each other.
It's not just what they play, but how they play it: When two people play chess, one plays white and one plays black. These colors mean nothing in chess, but they certainly mean something in general. When the forces of light and dark face each other knowing only one can ultimately win, it's a dramatic confrontation! That type of conflict is the essence of all drama. That Kirk and Spock's symbolic conflict is resolved in such a creative way is pretty exciting! It's a win/win situation, definitely not a stalemate!
Kirk, like the white pieces, represents the forces of light. Spock, like the black pieces, may be seen to represent space, and all the mysteries (dangers and delights) it conceals.
In chess, the person playing white always is the first to move. There are very ancient, symbolic reasons why this is so. Black is the color associated with earth and the soil (from stone age times). Black is inert. It doesn't move. It is solid. It stays put. The sun comes and goes, the light comes and goes. Light is dynamic. It moves. It makes the day begin. Add light, and things happen.
Look again at the way Kirk and Spock are portrayed. They are each powerful men, each interesting alone, but it's when they combine their distinct energies that we get the most marvelous effects.
If light never had moved over the primordial waves, there would have been no life. The thought of Kirk and Spock as lovers is so wonderfully inspiring, because it follows the same rules of basic symbolism which has been at the heart of all great art since before time was measured.
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2002
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