Chess: A Tragic Comedy

Chess: A Tragic Comedy

| 6 | Other

[Taken from Chapter 6]

"The Viennese master, Ernst Gruenfeld, has the reputation of knowing more about [chess] openings than any other player. From this encyclopedic knowlege he has distilled the uninspiring conviction that every [chess] game should be a draw."

---- Chess Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles:
How to Set them and How to Avoid Them
by: I.A. Horowitz and Fred Reinfeld
Published by Simon and Schuster, New York, NY 1954


Chess: A Tragic Comedy
by: Jason del Argo
a.k.a. Progressive Groove

    The world is a chessboard, and upon the world there now stands two Kingdoms. The first kingdom is known as, the Dark Kingdom, and its name is deceiving because it's King and Queen and all its people have nothing to do with Darkness, or Evil. They are people just like any other people, some good, some bad and others lukewarm. Yet, on the other side of the world there dwells another kingdom, and it is known as the Light Kingdom, and its name is just as deceiving as the former kingdom since its King and Queen and all its people were just like any other people and had nothing special to do with Lightness, or Good: some people were good, some were bad and others were lukewarm. However, these two Kingdoms were ruled by a monarchy [and a religious one at that] and there were murmurs between the people as to whose God was better, the God of the Dark Kingdom, or the God of the Light Kingdom.

    Now, any honest individual knows that when two equally skilled boxers enter a ring to fight and both fighters pray to their God to pummel their opponent in victory, that victory is permitted to the fighter who will best serve God after the fight, thus, David slew Goliath. Well, as mentioned before, both the Dark Kingdom and the Light Kingdom were ruled by a religious monarchy and like most monarchies the King and Queen were powerful and conceited, and each King and Queen in both Kingdom believed that it was their God who was the better. Despite the wise counsel of the Bishops in both Kingdoms, who were considered blanced counsel since one Bishop studied Lightness and the other studied Darkness, the Kings and Queens in both Kingdoms nevertheless stubbornly insisted that is was their God that was best, and they prepared for battle.

   It happened soon after that the King and Queen of the Dark Kingdom and the King and Queen of the LIght Kingdom met with their armies at the center of the world and each side was geared with an assortment of the following soldiers: 8 Pawns (or Grunts), 1 cavalry regiment consisting of two horse-riding Knights, a religious counsel of two Bishops (one that new Light magic and another that knew Dark magic), and two battering units known as, Rooks.

For the Weapons Specialist, here is a description of stature and arms for the following units:

Pawns: short and stocky ... uniform and simple / armed with a spear that is capable of attacking with diagonal thrusts.
Bishops: 3rd in command after K and Q ... stand broad and wide with miter cap / armed with bow and arrow capable of long shots at diagonal targets along their respective practices (i.e. "color").
Knights: horses are fast in speed and brave / knights are armed with pikes while horses allow for jumping barriers, soldiers and providing "over the wall" attacks and threats.
Rooks: battering units are heavy and thick / house long-range canon while boasting heavy iron-plated armament [however, armor plating betrays a weakness in design: battering units are susceptible at the seams of their armor plating and, thus, vulnerable to diagonal attacks].
Queen: flaunts a crown and is given the ability of unlimited travel / she is armed with a scepter which she may "clomp" on the heads of her captives.
King: stands for his Cross and Color / the king conceals a double-fillet dagger under his garb which he will wield when needed, thus, he is capable of stabbing enemies one pace (i.e. one square) in either direction when provoked. Because the King is the most important element of the Battle, he travels one pace at a time so as to prevent over-invovlement in battle, and as a top official of royalty, he cannot be captured and imprisoned but he is given "Parlay" and, thus, he can only be cornered and detained until the arrival of the victorious King can be expedited to the defeated King's location.

Now, returning to the story:

    Though it was a bright and sunny day and a beautiful day given to both Kingdoms by the One True God, the King and Queen of both Kingdoms were nonetheless ready to shed blood and ruin the scenery. Many moments passed as the King and Queen in both camps studied which Knight was best to send out first, which Knight woudl best crash the wall of Pawns clear across the field and which Knight would best terrorize their opponent. It was the religious counsel in both camps who were inspired by a great revelation, since their monasticism developed in their consciousness a special awareness that made communication possible though subtleties in expression, breathing, blinking and much, much more, all the Bishops devised a plan for capture.

"My Lord, My Queen," each Bishop in both Kingdoms said. "Let us not shatter this day with splatterings of blood, but rather, send a messenger out and let us agree not to kill our people during battler, but rather, let us capture them, and when victory is ours, they may duly serve us."

It was agreed by the King and Queen in the White Kingdom that a messenger Pawn would serve best to deliver this proposal and not a Knight, and so the King and Queen of the White Kingdom sent out the King's Pawn two paces onto the checkered battlefield to initiate contact with the Dark Kingdom's forces. The Dark Kingdom, whose Bishops were wise to the intentions of the Bishops in the Light Kingdom, advised their King and Queen to meet the Light Messenger Pawn with the Queen's Pawn and not a Knight so as to prevent provoking an unnecessary battle. However, the King and Queen in the Dark Kingdom were battle-hungry, and they only sent their messenger Pawn out one pace, which was far enough for the messengers to speak and agree to capturing soldiers rather than killing them, but form the point of view of the Light King and the Light Queen, this advance wa too cautionary and to battle-hungry minds, it betrayed an unconfirmed intention of deceit and ambush. Before seeking counsel with their Bishops, the King and Queen of the Light Kingdom impulsively sent out the King's Knight onto the battlefield, where it leaped and bounded and landed adjacent to the Light Messenger Pawn.

"What are you doing, my Lord and my Queen?" the Light and the Dark Bishops of the Light Kingdom asked their King and Queen, but before a reply could be given, the King and Queen of the Dark Kingdom had sent out their white Bishop to prevent the LIght Knight form advancing, and, thus, threatened the Light Queen by pinning the Knight with its Bishop.

"Now you see!" the Light King exclaimed. "The king and Queen of the Dark Kingdom were quick to agree to capturing soldiers, but now their true intention of domination has been revealed! Attack !!" The Light King shouted and then ordered the King-Rook's Pawn to advance one pace to threaten the Dark Kingdom Bishop.

    From this point on, it was a terrible sight to behold. Although none of the soldiers were slain or dying, the most terrible things were siad and the capturing of a soldier was not done with any particular kindness. Pawns captured Pawns, and Knights captured Knights. Even the Bishops in both Kingdoms were called to join in the battle. And so, too, did the women fight --- women --- the standards by which men are raised, and the foundation of town and family -- yes, even the Queens were engaged in a ferocious battle to which the only end result was the capture and imprisonment of both Queens. The panic, the mayhem, the adrenaline in all did not subside until there were but two Kings and four Pawns left upon the battlefield. On the Western Front stood the Dark King and one loyal Dark Pawn who were both preparing themselves to tackle the two on-coming White Pawns, and across the world on the Eastern Front stood the Light King who held one lonely Dark Pawn at bay.

"Check the Dark King! Check the Dark King!" the Light King shouted clear across the world.

    Strategically, to continue the fight did not make any sense, it was futile, but the Light Pawns were Grunts and they followed their orders with loyalty and duty and without any question.

"Check!" the Light Pawn exclaimed as he advanced forward one pace and was backed by his Brother in Arms.

"Capture!" the Loyal Dark Pawn retaliated.

"Capture and Check!" the back-up Light Pawn said.

"Capture!" The Dark King said with finality.

"Then I take you!" the Light King said as he captured the lonely Dark Pawn which he had been keeping at bay.

    And for a grand minute of reflection, both the Light King and the Dark King stood alone amid an empty world and they still beheld the same thought: "It is my God who is the One! It is my God who is the better!" and with that thought in both the Light King and in the Dark King's mind, the two Kings ran to the center of the battlefield, screaming their battle-cry at the top of their lungs with their daggers raised above their heads until finally ... the two kings clashed into one another and they both fell dead to the ground.

    Now, the citizens of the Dark Kingdom and the citizens of the Light Kingdom carried on with their lives and begat many generations of sons and daughters, some of which may be reading this story right now. Yet, even to this day, when visitors or vagabonds explore or stumble upon this hallowed battleground where this great Battle once took place, the skeletons of Grunts, Bishops and Queens can still be found laying captive in their cages which they had once agreed to use rather than to kill their opponent during war. Among those skeletons, one might also find the crumbled-skeletal remains of horses and the termite-invested wooden frames and mossy ironclad shields that once adorned the grand stature of the battering units known as, Rooks. And so, too, might one find --- still laying in the middle of this checkered battlefield --- the skeletal remains of two powerful Kings, proving that: "This is the inevitable end of the King of the Dark God, and the King of the Light God, who both found it wiser to FIGHT for their God, rather than finding it wiser to PERFORM for their God."


by: Jason del Argo
a.k.a. Progressive Groove

More from Progressive_Groove
8 Hard Points: 2 Queens vs. 1 ... and an Underdog Win!

8 Hard Points: 2 Queens vs. 1 ... and an Underdog Win!

Chess: A Tragic Comedy Illustration

Chess: A Tragic Comedy Illustration