596 ( +1 | -1 ) The PawnsHere's a short story with a chess theme that I wrote. Since this _is_ after all a chess forum, I thought you might enjoy it. And if not, what do I care ...
The Pawns ========
“These costumes must weigh a ton!” – complained Josh as he was struggling to keep pace with me. “I told you we should have gone to play baseball instead”. “Stop whining, man, and think just thing how bad _they_ must feel” – I waved my hand towards the group of darkly-clad figures at the opposite end of the field. Having to wear all black on such a hot day cannot be good. “You still have the nerve to complain?” – chimed in Big Steven – “You guys are just pawns. I have to stand with this thing on my head” – from behind his back, he produced a crude paper-and-plastic construction, which resembled a fortified tower only at after a thorough examination. “To your places, everyone!” – Mrs. Harris’ sharp voice cut through our argument like a pair of scissors. “Josh and Martin, take the center. No, not over there, Steven, you’re the _Queen’s_ Rook”. Josh and I took our spots on d2 and e2 respectively, while Big Steven gloomily shuffled towards his place of exile on a1. All the other kids were assigned to pawn duty, but Steven’s size worked against him – he was standing in the first row, along with the mind-numbingly boring adults. Behind us, Mrs. Harris, the vice-principle, was taking her place as the white Queen, while keeping a watchful eye on her minions – and also on her husband, who volunteered for the occasion to serve as his spouse’s King (or, as Josh sarcastically put it: “he was volunteered”).
After a very short while (which, in Thomas Jefferson Junior High-School time meant about 15 minutes), all thirty-two participants seemed safely rooted on their squares. A small commotion delayed the start of the match even further, as it was discovered that the black Bishop and Knight switched places, and Mrs. Harris had to race to the other side of the field to restore their rightful order. Upon return, she waved her hands to the Master of Ceremonies, i.e. John H. McKinley, Principal (what a coincidence, the principal of a school named after a dead American president is himself named after another dead president), to indicate that all was ready for the grand opening.
McKinley scaled the low podium and grabbed a hold of the microphone. He was in his familiar element. “Dear children, teachers and visitors! We gathered here today to celebrate the blah blah blah of the yadda yadda!”
At that point, I stopped listening, partly because I already knew why we gathered here today, and partly because Josh punched me in the ribs, which was his usual method to indicate that he had important information to convey. “I bet a dollar that I’ll move off my square before you” – he said. “What makes you so sure?” – I asked. “Grandmasters always move the Queen’s pawn first” “That’s bollocks. And besides, ours isn’t a Grandmaster”
This was true. “Ours” was a thin oriental fellow, barely our age, wearing miniature round glasses, a checkered shirt and a pair of tattered blue jeans. His name was Patrick Hoang, International Master, and Junior Chess Champion of the United States. Two years ago, his parents had the misfortune of working a few months in our small Midwest town, and he attended Thomas Jefferson Junior High, apparently not long enough to leave any major scars in his psyche, but long enough to be remembered by Mr. McKinley.
And it was only natural for the latter, when he heard that a major chess tournament would be played here, to invite Hoang together with one of the visiting chess professionals, to hold a “live” exhibition game in our school. His opponent was Leonid Denisov, Grandmaster, who, with his 200-pound figure and his long black beard resembled a Siberian Ranger more than a chess player. This was a battle of generations, a battle of East vs. West, and there was also a spicy aspect to it: 25 years ago, when he was in Hoang’s age, Denisov was the Junior Chess Champion of Soviet Union. In his prime, he was considered a contender for the World Championship, but now he was merely one of the few dozens chess-knights-for-hire, mercenaries of the rook and bishop, content with making a living out of chess.
If you’ve never been in an audience of a live chess game, I can’t tell you, unfortunately, how it looks from the viewers’ perspective. Probably should be an impressive sight from the stands, but here below on the playing board, carefully drawn on the school’s football field, it was far less of a spectacle. I passed my eyes from Josh, who was still bemoaning the fact that he allowed me to drag him into this, to the Black armies across the board, to the somewhat disinterested crowd, and finally to the two contestants, on an elevated podium to my left, with a real chessboard between them. Everything was ready.
The voice on the loudspeakers refused at first to enter my brain, and only after an additional punch to my kidneys courtesy of Josh, I realized that Hoang made his first move, prompting Mr. Mckinley to yell “Pawn to King Four!” into the microphone. Whoa, that’s me. “You owe me a buck” – I told Josh with a wry smile as a made my way two squares ahead, without much hope that my friend will pay up the bet.
43 ( +1 | -1 ) chesstickle, I posted the story for the enjoyment of GK users. Please, don't make a flamewar out of it. If this thread becomes an insult-fest, I will not post here anymore.
To all the rest: I believe chesstickle was referring to my usage of the word "bollocks". While the word is somewhat naughty, I believe it is still within the confines of the PG-13 guideline that this site has set out to achieve. So I should be safe ... I hope.
37 ( +1 | -1 ) to zdrakyour story is both entertaining and enlightning. i applaud your great effort I definately look forward to your next posting continuing this story . i have entertained thoughts of posting a story here but did not know if it was appropriate . however yours is most certainly appropriate and most delightful!! yours with admiration bluebabygirl
Just ignore the one poster who sees evil in everything.
24 ( +1 | -1 ) zdrakjust in case there is some misunderstanding, I did enjoy your story and I too look forward to finding out what happens next. I just hope there are some paramedics standing by in case Mr & Mrs Harris get heat stroke!
1 ( +1 | -1 ) When's the second part?I can't wait!
21 ( +1 | -1 ) No need to wait any longer! Second part is out, and it's right here:
17 ( +1 | -1 ) ZdrakHave you ever considered to become a writer? you write so well that you could!