In 2020, Stephen Wolfram announced his own theory of everything for physics. (read Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics… and It’s Beautiful for his introduction to it.) I will refrain from detailed critique of the work; but will try to give a broad assessment.

At a high enough level, the theory is similar to most of Wolfram’s work: that simple rules, applied iteratively, can generate arbitrarily complex behavior; in this case, the desired behavior is the observable universe. Special relativity becomes different reference frames observing the rule iterations in different sequential order. Quantum mechanics becomes different orders of iteration having a single result. The question of why electrons are so small becomes the question of why electrons are so big.

The models given all have problems. They conflate “time as in spacetime” and “time as in the quantum of iteration”. They are generally models that explode in complexity - and Wolfram either doesn’t appreciate or can’t yet solve the problem of overwhelming complexity. And Wolfram doesn’t appear to even attempt to explain the EPR paradox and Bell's theorem.

Another problem is that all the models are applied to graph-theoretical graphs. This makes sense to a mathematician, but it is difficult to explain and understand for the lay person. So, instead, we suggest the same approach with a different iterative model: the chess board. (Technically, the go board would be a better metaphor for the universe, but chess is more well-known and has useful properties for some other purposes later.)

The chess model, in addition to being simpler, replaces a chaotic model with an adversarial one. As a model of the universe, this has the obvious problem of where the adversaries come from. As a model used to explain other models, we can simply play the games ourselves.

For now, we take but one brief look at timetravel in chess. Consider the situation where the first player makes a move, and discovers after several more moves that the move was a blunder. The first player then uses their timemachine to, instead, make a different move. This type of behavior is generally considered unsporting. However, if the first-player instead simply “looks ahead”, we can get the same result, and conveniently do not need a timemachine to do so.