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The Castle of Weshire recently declared war on the Castle of Boston. The two armies soon met, the Boston King and Weshire King giving out orders from behind their lines of soldiers, surround by their spiritual advisors.

However, due to recent political drama, the Boston King suspected that there was a traitor in the midst. He decided to try to catch the traitor in the act. There was no doubt that they would try to do something as the Wehsire Army distracted the Boston army.

The first phase of the battle happened as the armies first marched forth towards each other. The Boston King wept in joy as he saw his son survive the charge. It was very bloody and emotional battle. The King thought he should keep his closest friends closer from now on, as to keep them from being killed, so they could properly advise him. The Boston King also sent extra, forbidden calvary as a sacrifice, so said in the respected rules of war, to confuse and anger the Weshire forces.

The first phase diagram:

Phase 1

During the second major event, the Weshire army hit Boston’s right flank, and raided some horses to strengthen their calvary. However, the Boston soldiers showed great bravery and managed the kill one of the Weshire army’s religious heads. One was promoted for their heroic act. Another, who died, but who was the bishop killer, was honored for his rightful vengeance. A good soldier always looks out for his King, and gives up their life the moment they see danger to them. Additionally, the Weshire King sent forth a forbidden soldier to the Boston’s King’s calvary trick,s Dan he also let his priest move in a manner never before permitted-directly passing the front lines.

The second phase diagram:

Phase 2

In the third and final swing of the battle, the left flank had been locked up, engaging in a ferocious battle. The Boston Army held a major card against Weshire by threatening to kill their king. Unfortunately, however, Weshire has managed trap the King’s wife after she moved to a bad spot while trying to talk to one of the Boston church priests. After some more battling, both sides agreed to a mutual truce and went home.

The third phase diagram:

Phase 3

After arriving back at his castle, the Boston King had a chat with his son, who was a knight. He was sure that a traitor had tried to do something during the battle to harm him in some way. His son shelled out some maps, one for each of the three phases of the battle. On these diagrams, the layout of the battle was shown in its entirety. It was always their army’s time to attack in the moments shown on the ink.

Upon seeing the maps, the Boston King immediately knew who the traitor was. He ordered his council, parliament, advisors, priests, and judges to gather. He sent his son, along with two other knights, to go arrest the traitor.

Who was the traitor who attempted to harm the Boston King?

You must say which piece, and, if necessary it’s starting square, along with where it is in each of the three diagrams. You must also state at three reasons why said chosen piece is the traitor, one piece of proof per diagram/story that goes with it.

Note: There is only one traitor-it is the same in all three diagrams.
Note #2: if you could please edit those links into the words beside them, that would be great. Pretty please and thank you in advance! [Done -- gjm]
Note #3: Enjoy!
Note #4: Cheers to this question-"Murder!", said the knight for inspiring me!

UPDATE: Is, uh, anyone going to even try to solve this?

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    $\begingroup$ So, is it deliberate that the first diagram has three black knights even though all eight black pawns are still on the board? I mean, obviously it might be -- it's unclear what sort of metaphorical shenanigans might be going on -- but it seems rather odd. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 11 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ Also not making any sense at first glance: in the first position W has "obviously" made at least one pawn capture (maybe two for pawn-promotion reasons) but black still has 16 pieces. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 11 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ This sort of puzzle seems hard to make any progress on, because plainly we aren't dealing with an actually-possible chess game, played by the normal rules, which somehow tallies with the events in the story (because there are impossible things in the diagrams); but if the chess game isn't being played by the normal rules then it seems like anything could be happening and it's hard to see how to draw any actual conclusions. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 11 at 1:49
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    $\begingroup$ E.g., the sort of thing I want to be able to say is "look, in this position you can tell that black's last move was X, but that means that such-and-such a piece could have done Y to protect the black king but didn't, so that piece is the traitor". But if we don't know by what rules the game is actually being played, that sort of reasoning can't work. We could try to make the rule-violations themselves be the evidence of treachery, but if e.g. we decide that one of the black knights in the first diagram is a bishop in disguise then [...continues] $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 11 at 1:54
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    $\begingroup$ ... that could just as well (in-story) be a deliberate trick to confuse white, rather than indicating any malfeasance within the black camp. Etc. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 11 at 1:54
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I will hazard a guess. The traitor is:

One of the knights

In the first phase diagram, he is on:

F5
We are told that in each diagram it is Boston King's turn. We are also told that the king sent some cavalry to be sacrificed, so we know how highly the king thinks about the knights. In this diagram the knight on F5 has the perfect opportunity to sacrifice himself to attack the Weshire Queen. It's a no-brainer, actually. However, since the queen survives until the end of the battle we know he didn't do it. Chickened out, as it were - or had some ulterior motives?

In the third diagram, he is on:

A6
This one is pretty easy, since we know the traitor doesn't change, and there is only one knight left. However, in this case there is also some evidence. We are told Boston King had a major card to play, but his queen got trapped and he was forced to agree to a truce. Now, if you want to play a major card but you can't because your queen is trapped, what do you do? Un-trap your queen!
The Boston queen is trapped by the bishop on F3, and the bishop is protected by a rook and the Weshire queen. To easily get out of the trap the knight on A6 needs to move to C5 and attack the Weshire queen. If the queen is no longer protecting the F3 bishop, then the B7 bishop takes him, then the rook takes, then Boston queen takes rook and Boston is up material. If the Weshire queen moves to E2 or E3, then the rook on A2 can take the pawn on D2. The Weshire queen takes rook, and is not protecting the bishop anymore. Bishop takes, rook takes, queen takes. Now Boston is still up a pawn in this exchange and the queen is no longer trapped, opening the battlefield up for this major card. So the knight really dropped a ball on this one - or did he?

In the second diagram, he is on:

D8
This one was a bit tricky, as there is no glaring evidence against him. But if you think about it, why did the knight move back behind the pawn line? He is not attacking any important squares there, and he is not defending anything. B7 is very well defended, C6 also has 2 defenders already, so does E6. F7 is not being attacked, and even if it was, there are better places to defend it from. There is no reason for that knight to have gone back to the 8th rank. To top it off, it would have required him at least 3 moves to get there - what a waste of time! Also he would have had to have gone through at least one turn where he could have attacked a Weshire piece, and where Weshire could have attacked him, but he got to where he was going unscathed. Collusion!!

Having seen this, the Boston King

Was understandably livid. I don't envy that knight!

UPDATE: I got it, the king thinks the traitor is:

The light squared bishop.
The one remaining knight is the king's son, so he is beyond reproach, even though there's a ton of evidence against him. Looking at the other candidates we don't have much to work with. Half the pawns didn't even move, the other half are battling as they should. The dark squared bishop hasn't moved all game, if he was a traitor then he is an ineffective one. That leaves us with only the queen, two rooks and the light squared bishop. In the first diagram the rooks are blocked so they can't be doing anything suspicious. The bishop is all the way in Weshire territory though, talking to their king - highly suspicious!
In the second diagram it is explained that Weshire "raided" horses from Boston on the right flank. Now how did that happen? Wait, who do we see on the right flank? The bishop! He's back, why? He is the one who helped Weshire get those extra horses.

But wait, there's more!

I'm sure the king thought up some excuse regarding the third diagram. But while I was trying to do the same, I found something very interesting: the king is an unreliable narrator! Regarding the first diagram the king says "It was very bloody and emotional battle". But if you look at the board, only one Weshire pawn is missing. Does that sound like a bloody and emotional battle? For the second diagram the king mentions that Weshire priest moved in a "never before permitted" manner, however, the one remaining Weshire bishop hasn't moved all game! For the third diagram, the king says the queen "moved to a bad spot" to talk to the bishop, but the queen hasn't moved from her place in the second diagram! So the king has no idea at all of what's going on.

Having realized this, the conclusion is that:

The king is a paranoid and unreliable witness. He thinks there is a traitor, where there is none. He ordered the arrest of the light squared bishop, but all the evidence is circumstantial. He's going mad in his old age...

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  • $\begingroup$ I am still trying to figure this puzzle out, but it cannot be one of the knights who were in the battle. Only 1 Knight is shown to survive the battle and that one is the king's son. The king's son survived the charge (mentioned: first phase) and he was a knight (mentioned: after arriving at castle). $\endgroup$ – Shanty Mar 12 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Shanty In the comments, the OP states that if a piece is removed from the board, it is not necessarily dead, as evidenced by the king having his son and two other knights still alive after the battle. So his son could have survived the initial charge but was wounded a removed from the battle later on. Also, it is never stated the king only has one son - he could have been talking to another son who was a knight but wasn't in the battle. $\endgroup$ – Amorydai Mar 12 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ In the second diagram, the piece in question had to come from a certain field (rot13: sbkgebgfvk) if he was the last to move. It could have moved to (rot13: pnrfnesvir ) and attacked (rot13: oenibguerr). $\endgroup$ – nishuba Mar 12 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ Nice guess, but nope. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 12 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ And do remember, everything told in the story is an important piece of the puzzle. ANYTHING can be a clue, and EVERYTHING is a hint. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Mar 12 at 12:45

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