• Javier Romano

The "Minuet" Dancing Ceremony

An important part of a Quaternity game is the preparation phase; what I like to call the "Minuet" dance ceremony, because of its small steps back and forth and sideways with no apparent meaning or purpose.

In some games, this preparation phase never seems to come to an end, with over a hundred moves being made without any decisive action that triggers a significant change in the overall dynamics of the game. However, it's a necessary period for arranging and positioning one's pieces, making sure that they are all safe and protected, as well as for carefully observing the moves of the other three opponents; to try to intuit their intentions and also to see if any of their pieces are undefended. This is a valuable moment to observe if there is a clear offensive move in any direction by any of the players. If this stage goes on too long and there is no action by anyone, it could be said to be a "passive" game, excessively defensive and static, which in some way detracts from the beauty of a combined interaction, although eventually the crucial moment will come when this barrier is overcome and all four players engage in a spiral of continuous change.

Watching the first seventy movements in fast motion with the addition of the music below, you will understand the idea better than with a thousand explanations.

The credit for the music goes, of course, to Wolfgang A. Mozart. Cassation in B flat, K.99: 6. Minuet.

Enjoy the dance.