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From: No Game No Life (Anime) ep1 06:33.

Context: The main character is explaining the difficulty of Chess.

無量大数以上の局面をすべて把握できればだ

I've never seen this ればだ construction before. Can somebody explain what's going on here? The official translation is "one has to be capable of grasping...", but I'm not sure how they got that.

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This ればだ is just the ~ば conditional attached to できる and then ended with copula だ. I'm sure there was some context before this which would help us understand the second half of that conditional.

So without the だ, you would just have a first half of the conditional:

無量大数以上の局面をすべて把握できれば
If you can grasp the incredible number of possibilities of the board [...]

But with だ, this would be a rough translation:

無量大数以上の局面をすべて把握できればだ。
That is, if you can grasp the incredible number of possibilities of the board.

Even in english, this sentence cannot stand alone. You need more context. I've added the line before that to the sentence:

原理上、明確な必勝法がある無量大数以上の局面をすべて把握できればだ。
Theoretically there is a surefire way to win. That is, if you can grasp the incredible number of possibilities of the board.

By reversing the order of these sentences and adding the bolded parts, you get a full conditional, albeit less emphatic than it was before:

無量大数以上の局面をすべて把握できれば、明確な必勝法がある。
Only if you can grasp the incredible number of possibilities of the board, there is a surefire way to win.

Which would make sense, because if you memorized all the possible situations of chess, there is no way you would lose.

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  • That's very interesting, thank you. So am I understanding this right that だ here stands as part of the second clause necessary for the conjunctive -ば ?. It's just confusing because all of it is omitted, leaving the lonely だ at the end. – LonelyDriver Jan 28 at 18:04
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    だ here creates a full sentence. Without だ, the listener would expect something to come after it, but the presence of the copula signals that the speaker has already implied the second part of the conditional somewhere before. So I don't think it's wrong to look at it as "a replacement for the second clause", but grammatically, I'm not sure if that's the case. – Shurim Jan 28 at 19:06
  • I googled this, and found 「このとおりに進めれば、だ」and that comma implies that it's probably a second clause. "That is" seems to be a reasonable interpretation of it. – LonelyDriver Jan 28 at 19:45
  • It's nothing relevant to the main point, but a less obvious fact is that 無量大数 is a number unit 10^68 (= a hundred unvigintillion in the short scale). ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%84%A1%E9%87%8F%E5%A4%A7%E6%95%B0 – broken laptop Jan 30 at 5:54

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