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First HP Lovecraft Chess Tournament Chapter III: The Fateful Finale

First HP Lovecraft Chess Tournament Chapter III: The Fateful Finale

Oct 20, 2009, 12:21 PM 2

    At last, the fading echoes of the dying and the mad herald the end of the first HP Lovecraft Tournament on chess.com. One player alone navigated successfully through no fewer than eight mazes of deadly traps filled with hideous beings to emerge the clear and victorious champion. Unknown to most however, a final battle between the forces of good and evil was pitched at the last moments, and there was very nearly a late challenge to the dubious throne. The tiebreaker was narrowly avoided by the outcome of the following, hair-raising confrontation. As you will see, tremendous forces of both light and darkness converged, and the spot where they once stood became levelled into a blasted no man's land. With his den of mischief besieged and his monsters slain, the evil black magician is soon burned out of his dungeons only to finds himself in the vast empty plains, with nowhere to hide from his relentless pursuers.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

    As long and encyclopedic as many of Lovecraft's sentences were, most of the stories themselves were of relatively modest length. A mere handful of his tales number more than a few dozen pages, which is not surprising as the bulk of his work was published only in pulp magazines until after his death. One exception is the namesake of this article, chosen to compliment a harrowing game in which I (as the sorcerous black king) lost not only my bid for victory of the board but also a last chance at winning the entire tournament. Weighing in
somewhere over 100 pages of standard paperback type, the original novella is about a geneological inquiry gone awry. It seems this often occurs when your ancestors were lynched for practicing vampirism, necromancy and obscure forms of devil worship, at least in HPL's stories. My position in the game was like that of young master Ward's great grandfather, the wizard Joseph Curwen. As black gathers dread forces beneath divided banks, a flaw in the foundations reveals one of the delving tunnels and exposes what lurks beneath a placid surface. As in the novella, the representatives of sensibility are swift to react. White's organized attack precipitates a vital shift of initiative, and the dungeons are expunged before they can vomit forth their nightmares, the dread depths are purged and razed, and the evil sorcerer is brought to light and destroyed. At least for now...

    Even after a few missed chances to nail down the lid, the white pieces are finally able to trap and finish off the defenseless enemy once and for all.

    With the timely demise of the necromancer, the First HP Lovecraft Chess Tournament came to a mind melting conclusion. Congratulations to buccs4047, the champion and winner of the treasured Cthulhu Cup! (It's probably best if you don't fall asleep with your trophy anywhere within 20 feet of your bed. Just a friendly tip.) The second tournament will be held soon, all are welcome to join. Whoever the bold and feckless contestants will be, you can be sure that new, horrific devices and logic devouring monsters will be waiting in the black and white wastelands to annihilate them. The road is dangerous, but the rewards are life, sanity, and the certain satisfaction of a job well done in the name of order and meaning in a mad universe. Not to mention fun games, strange stories, even stranger chess positions, and a mysterious, possibly life-threatening trophy. Now, who can top all that? Hope to see you there!

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