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A Chess Story

This is a tale about some interesting characters and their playing of that game of life.

TAGS: WHERNTO: notions 

image of A Chess Story

This story was initially conceived by Sangeeta as a present for a friend (who never got around to seeing it), but was written largely by prad many years ago. Sangeeta will be illustrating it sometime in the next several decades. If you know your chess or your life, you are welcome to play it out.

Light shines in and there was a deep grumbling throughout the box …

"Do we have to get up?" cried one of the contents.

"Oh stop being so cranky," the Queen scolded. "We have work to do. The battle is awaiting."

"What battle?" mumbled the King, "I don't see a threat." And then once again he fell sound asleep.

"You're an embarrassment to Kings, past, present and future!" yelled the queen. All the pieces froze when they heard the shrill of her voice. They peeked over their resting places to see the Queen pushing the King out.

"All you do is hang around like a piece of deadwood in the middle!" she continued.

"Yes dear, but dear …" pleaded the King.

She cut him off though: "until things get rough and then you go hide in the corner!"

Ceewon Bishop chuckled as he got up and lent a hand to Effwon Bishop. They were great friends known for their slanted sense of humor, yet they were respected for their strength and swiftness of attack. One was assigned to the Queen and the other to the King, but neither was ever sure who was going to whom. What they were sure about though was that they had a lot of fun together.

The Knights galloped dutifully onto the board, and snorted out a loud, "Neighhhh!" which startled the Pawns and sent them into a flurry. They all just scrambled up to the board scurrying around here and there trying to find a place to stand. Every now and then, one of them would bump into a rather large round wall at the corners of the board and apologetically squeal "So sorry! Pardon me. Pardon me. Forgive me". The round walls never seemed to pay any attention and merely continued being round, but the Pawns kept looking up at them and feared the worst.

Now it is time to meet our hero for this story, a quiet unassuming Pawn named Beetoo. He was considered a pawn of the lowest order - a next to the edge Pawn on the Queenside at that! You see Pawns are known for their straightforwardness, and not much else. They are small and meek, they are the disposable ones, the least appreciated and the most pushed around. Even so, the center Pawns have a special importance because they are central. The Kingside Pawns sometimes have status because sometimes they are called on to protect the King! The Pawns on the edge live close to a castle - that's the round wall they kept bumping into because they were too sleepy to watch where they were going earlier. (About castles, by the way, you should know that they are made of rocks, but sometimes the 'c' looks like an 'o' if the typesetting is not too good which it usually isn't and hence they acquired the misnomer of Rooks rather than rocks as should be evident to anyone.)

However, poor Beetoo wasn't central, wasn't recognized for protecting the King (except only a little bit on fairly rare occasions) and though he hung around across the way from a castle, he really didn't feel particularly near to it. Furthermore, he had this rather fierce-looking horse behind him continuously snorting and it gave him the shivers! To make matters worse, suddenly he was thrust forward two squares right out into the open!

So as you can see, Beetoo was understandably not a happy Pawn at all. He was also worried. He had seen that it was the Pawns who were sent out first, while all the while the larger and powerful pieces sat around and let his kind be slaughtered one by one. The small Pawns had little mobility and therefore were almost helpless amidst the onslaught of attack. He was afraid, but even more he was furious at the lack of concern shown for Pawns. You see Beetoo was a thoughtful Pawn, a Pawn with hopes and dreams and vision.

However, right now nearly halfway up the board, Beetoo's vision saw only one thing - the menacing glare of a black Bishop hungrily eyeing him.

"This is the end," he thought as he closed his eyes, bracing himself for the attack … but the attack didn't come. Breathing a slight sigh of relief, he looked around and to his surprise he saw Ceewon Bishop winking rather diagonally at him with a huge smirk on his face.

"Hey just let that fatso black bishop Effate gobble you up, eh." Ceewon shouted with a strangely Canajian accent. "Go'on I dare him to. Eh everybody! Wanna know how come Effate is a fatso, eh? It's because like he ate too much! Ha! Ha! Get it? He ate too much! "

"Whose side is that maniac on anyway?" worried Beetoo "he's going to get me killed!"

Fatso, I mean, Effate became even blacker with rage! He twirled and turned. He stomped and steamed. He started charging towards poor Beetoo who was now sure he was a goner. However, Effate stopped after moving two squares. He did not come any closer to Beetoo and he certainly did not dare take him out while Ceewon Bishop was guarding him.

So Beetoo breathed a sigh of relief and felt a little better for now at any rate.

Suddenly, someone yelled "Look out Beetoo!"

"What! Where! Help!" cried Beetoo. Indeed Beetoo had something to be concerned about for looming in front of him and a bit to his right a fierce black Knight had taken up position! It was terrible. The Knight snorted (as they all do, after all, you would too if you had nostrils like theirs) and was posturing himself for a fatal leap.

Beetoo looked back at Ceewon Bishop pleading for help.

"Hey sorry bub!" shrugged Ceewon, "Think you have a bit of a problem here. Yup. No doubt about it. Can't help you. How about you Effwon?"

"Nope not me" responded Effwon Bishop "I'm a little off color. Ha! Ha! Get it?"

"Ha! Ha!" laughed Ceewon. "I get it! Ha! Ha! Hey Effwon what say you and I go and do that I AM Canajian thing and get sloshed? Then we'll both bishopsloshed? Ha! Ha! Ha! Get it?"

"Idiots!" thundered the Queen! "You're both so stupid you don't even need to get drunk to prove it!"

Well! That silenced the Bishops completely for several days - it may have even stopped their alcoholic leniencies. The King, himself, was so unnerved that he started tipping round and round and would have fallen in resignation had he not grabbed hold of a nearby Pawn to keep his balance.

Seeing the gravity of the situation, the Queen ordered her Rook to kick the Pawn in front up a square. That had a tremendous effect on the black army as they suddenly became silent, as happens whenever you feel you have lost something you thought you had, but never really did.

As if inspired by this turn in events, the white Knights pranced around. Though Beetoo was relieved, it seemed to him that the Knights were showing off, displaying their immense powers, their strength, how well they danced. He was not impressed with this 'chivalry'.

"Pawns are simple pieces," he thought. "We don't ask for much and we don't carry on much. Yet, our value is not recognized in this battlefield. This is how it always is, the meek are seen as things to throw away, as the battle is waged by the flamboyant. We pawns humbly accept our roles, but I am tired of being treated like a lesser piece."

As he was having these thoughts, there was a sudden commotion!

"What is she doing! Don't let her do it!" Even the King cried out, "Stop my dear - please, don't do it!"

The Queen was charging into the enemy ranks right in front of Beetoo. With a piercing shriek she delivered her war cry, "Remember the Dharma!"

"Don't you mean the Alamo, my dear" squealed the King as he covered his eyes.

The Queen fell into the enemy camp with a vengeance, ripping a huge hole in their lines. The white camp was incredulous and there was total confusion in the black camp. No one knew what to do.

No one that is except Beetoo. He suddenly understood what the Queen sacrifice meant.

"Come on everyone! Push forward! Push forward! Don't let her sacrifice be in vain. Remember the Dharma! Remember the Dharma!"

"Don't you mean the Alamo" the King asked again scratching his rather ponderous crown this time.

"No my liege" called Beetoo from far away. "This is our Dharma. It is what makes us who we are, no matter what we may appear to be. Through it we shape our destiny. My selfless Queen has shown us the way and I will not fail her! Press on! Push forward! Live your Dharma!"

And Beetoo pushed on! To the 5th rank, then the 6th. The recoiling black army recovered sufficiently to resist, but his friends were following him now, supporting him, fending off the resistance.

Now the 7th rank! Even the King got excited and took a few paces forward ensuring there wouldn't be an attack from the rear.

A final surge and Beetoo had made it to the 8th rank!

He stood there alone, both armies looking on in silence.

"What now?" he wondered, "I am here, but where is that?"

To his amazement, his Queen appeared in crystal radiance, beyond the black and white of day to day affairs.

"You are here, Beetoo" she said kindly.

"Yes my Queen and always ready to serve you" said Beetoo bowing low.

"Not to serve me, noble little one - but to serve Dharma which is the same for all of us, though many try so hard to deny it. So little one, be whoever you are and most of all be true."

And with that she evanesced into the air.

So what of Beetoo and his companions? Suffice to say that I can tell you no more than this, as it is only proper:

When the end of a story is here,
A new beginning is always near…