Game of Chess

Game of Chess

3 mins

A Game of Chess: "Want to play chess?" She asked me, as I was about to get seated with my can of Coke. I considered her for a few seconds. She was looking at me through her oval glasses, her dark intelligent eyes twinkling behind them. She was clutching to her iPhone with one hand, while the other, with a glitter of gold on the middle finger, was resting on the table. "What would be at stake ?" I asked, after a while. "You want to gamble on the chess board?" she laughed. "We will see !"

"When was the last time someone had challenged me to a game of chess ?", I tried to remember, as we ambled across to the chess board. Generally, it would be difficult for an amateur to beat me in a game of chess. We arranged the pieces on the magnetic grid, my black king in line with her white counterpart. "She gets to make the first move", I thought. She made a conventional opening by pushing her pawn facing my queen two squares forward. In my first few moves I castled and put a protective ring of rook, bishop, knight and pawns around my king. In the opening phase I stayed elusive, skirting around her temptations, and prevented her from opening a file on my king. By the middle game we were evenly poised, each having deployed our troops in defensive formations around our kings. We were playing silently taking turns to sip from the Coke, my ring lightly brushing against hers as we passed the can to each other. Suddenly, she struck deep into my defence with her bishop. I lost a key pawn, while her knight guarded her conquering bishop. I retaliated with my rook and queen. But, my rook she snapped up in a crafty move, and my queen got trapped inside her defence. Soon, my front line crumbled under the assault of her rooks, and only a slender line of bishops and knights separated my king from her final charge. "Check!" her voice rang out, and I hurried my pawn to block her attack. "Check again" - this time she forced my king into the open. My knights and my bishops were desperately trying to stave off her deadly blows. In the process, she lost a rook and a couple of pawns. I regrouped somewhat, brought my queen back from her territory, and started to put up some fight. However, my resistance was short lived. Expertly, she brought her queen to the fore, and smashed her way through my remaining pieces. She showed me no mercy.

Finally, my king stood defenceless and helpless, exposed across the diagonal, horizontal and the vertical to her powerful pieces. "Check" -- I heard the gentle derision in her voice. She had sealed all my escape routes. I looked up. Her beautiful face was glowing with the thrill of impending victory. Slowly, I extended my right hand and struck down my embattled king with the index finger, conceding defeat. "Well, you can claim anything --- my crown, kingdom, throne --- whatever you wish for is yours". Even as I uttered those words, I knew that she had no need for any of that. She already had in her possession what she had hunted for. She was smiling her most gorgeous smile. I leaned back in my chair, resigned in surrender, just like my fallen king. I realised that there was nowhere to run. It was indeed checkmate.

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