The Chess Master

July 04, 2009

At the school fete, one of the stalls had a guy playing four games of chess at a time, with a sign saying, "Beat the Master". Of course, Mattgreen couldn't resist having a pop at him. Meanwhile, Izzy sat down to play against one of her classmates, let's call him Billy.

I come over and start watching. Isabel says straight away, "I'm only playing for fun, Billy already beat me in the first game".

I watch for a minute or so. Then Billy picks up his queen, takes Izzy's rook, then moves diagonally and takes her king. He places the rook and the king on the side of the board and says, "Your go!"

I say, "Er, you can't take her king!" He goes, "Oh yeah. Which one is it that can double take?" The chess guy turns half an eye away from his four games and says, "You're thinking of draughts, Billy".

Billy puts the king back. I say, "Check!" as his queen is now in line with Izzy's king. Izzy moves the king back one space, then Billy immediately takes it with his queen. I say, "You can't do that! The king was still in check!" Billy looks at me, confused. I show Izzy where to move her king.

Billy says, "You're not allowed to move your king backwards!"
Mattgreen says wearily, "Yeah you are. No wonder Izzy lost the first game! You're cheating like a madman!"

Meanwhile, Mattgreen is losing. He discovers the chess-playing guy is actually a real Master, and hasn't lost a single game at this year's fete or at last year's either.

On the way home Mattgreen says, "Right, that's my goal for the year sorted out then!" I guess the electronic Kasparov will be coming out of its box forthwith.

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