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The principle of reciprocity

It soon became obvious that playing inverted or converted chess was possible and even very elegant in its movements, musical in thought and aesthetic in concept. The game became much more dance like than marshal. It is possible to play solo or even with two or more persons on one side. The incomparable, ancient game of war allowed itself to be converted easily into a practical game of peace by simply applying the rules of inversion such as we know and use them in logic, mathematics and dialectics. Factually one does not even need to change the hardware, the shape of the chess game or the other instruments but only our way or modality of thinking by means of which the character of the game changes from war-like to harmonic, co-operative and peaceable. Comparing this with our real world in which the chess-mentality dominates, where we wage war with each other for the sake of property ownership, greed, financial profit or just the idea of (race/colour) superiority, the pre-condition for peace then seems to lie in the willingness to convert our thinking-modality. By creating the modality of reciprocity in our thinking and acting the golden rule emerges.This means in other words to exercise the willpower to turn the desire to win at the cost or loss of the other party -the chess-mentality- around.

This leads to the following rules in our peace-chess:

  1. Openness, genuineness in our aims, purposes and goals, having no hidden agenda
  2. Sincerity of intention
  3. The will to work together for a collective or common goal –world peace
  4. Freedom of choice in choosing the colour, the begin- and end position
  5. Respect for the fellow participants, your allies, and their ideas
  6. Humility, uprightness, congratulating each other with good moves
  7. Communication, consensus
  8. Nobility, discretion, balance
  9. Reciprocity, helping to overcome each other’s handicaps
  10. Sharing in the communal property, accepting discrete private property
  11. Unity of aims
  12. Transcendence of egoism
  13. Winning together, accepting a win-win-plus game scenario
  14. The right to preserve self esteem and ones personal dignity and identity

Cooperation wins from agression

Hence, Metapontum is a demonstration of co-operative behaviour instead of aggressive competition. It displays the principles of equality, honesty, fraternity, freedom, grace and righteousness. Metapontum exhibits a remarkable similarity with the Christian philosophy of grace and redemption. The players create the wholesome ideas of peace out of the images and ideas of war when they turn the war terms around into their opposite. Only then will distrust give away to trust and fraternity. Only then will sabotage make place for respectful communication. Only then will enemies be transformed into allies and shall the fallout shelters of our fear be converted to the graves for our instruments of war, buried together with our hate-institutions and policies of racism, nihilism, despair and so on. Players are either able to cause a war of total destruction on the board, or they can create a new Utopia, an Eden of peace, a New Jerusalem. But first the will to do so must emerge in the heart of each and then the old thinking patterns must be turned up side down and next they can demonstrate it on the Metapontum board. His is the choice.

Harmonic hierarchy

Metapontum knows like chess a social structure and a hierarchy, however, not only the board, the pieces too have undergone a metamorphosis. Because in Metapontum one uses a board with 8x8 hexagons, the range of mobility of the pieces has increased. We witness in fact a transformation and an evaluation, from a purely, materialistic world and a physical 3rd dimension to a 4th dimension of eternity and harmony with a mentality conversion surpassing the gross win and loss doctrine.


This was the reason why Frenkel gave the pieces a total metamorphosis in name, and function.The source of inspiration he found by the great pre-Christian World cultures and the pieces suggestively resemble their symbology except for the futuristic pioneers. Metapontum has been projected from the feudalistic era of war and check mate into the newly promised World of peace, beauty, order and enlightenment for citizens and cultures.

metapontumThe one-time restricted, insignificant pawn, has become a dynamic pioneer. He has received more freedom in mobility and plays a far more important and constructive role in social life. The pioneers symbolise the workers for a New World. In addition to this they can now be elevated to become laureates and they receive a coronet and the power of the magister.

metapontum drevelThe one-time powerful castle becomes a templar or guardian. He symbolises the relationship between the ancient Grecian culture, the three pillars, with the Egyptian culture, arts and sciences, symbolised by the pyramids.

The one-time feared knight has become a wise man, scientist or sage. He symbolises Taoism of the ancient Chinese culture, the dynamic yin/yang energy of balancing opposing forces.

The severe bishops of old are now friendly ministers. They represent the Roman empire whose cultural heirs we Europeans are in regard to law and statecraft and whose influence we still enjoy today.

The frightening queen of yesteryear has become a benign magister. She/he carries the symbol of union between the masculin and feminine principles represented in the image of the androgynous Hindu Shiva Linga.

The absolute potentate-king of life and death has become a civilised, mild mannered, helpful regent accountable to the 10 commandments or decalogue. He combines two symbols, the Pythagorean Tetrad, the ten dots representing science and mathematics, and the Ankh, the Egyptian symbol of everlasting life.

Gamefields: hexagons versus squares

The hexagons of the board symbolise in addition to the hexagonal structure of the symbiotic bees the six sided Jewish-Mosaic symbol of the people of god. Aside form the deep symbolic significance, the hexagonal structure of the board also creates problems and handicaps for some pieces, handicaps that do not exist on the checker board. These problems represent a challenge which cannot be solved unless both parties, players, co-operate. Both sides have 3 mobile parts -pieces- out of 16 that are not able to realise themselves, or arrive on their appointed place on the opposite side of the board. But as a surplus or bonus for co-operating, players enrich and empower each other, while they move effortlessly in opposite direction in a very complex traffic situation by exchanging place and elevating 2 or 3 pioneers to new magisters. This enhances their power of movement.

Read >>the rules.

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