Nov 25th – Nervy Knights

November 25th – Nervy Knights

19.53-20.03

It was a bold opening move. Bold, or stupid.

He’d never seen his opponent. They played, like this, over the course of many nights, keeping score in a leather notebook that he kept in a drawer. He was many games behind. But he kept playing.

It had started, like most games, or like most correspondence games, in a virtual world. He had played well, for the first couple of games, piquing his opponent’s interest, it would seem. A few questions, nothing too personal, where and what are you from his opponent. He asked nothing in return. It was only a game.

Two weeks later, a knock at the door, and a delivery to sign for. An ornate chess set, heavy, a thick wooden board and carved alabaster pieces. The most beautiful chess set he had ever seen.

The next time they played his opponent told him to set up the board, to track their moves as they played. He traced his fingers over the elegant pieces as he planned his moves, imagining his opponent doing the same thing, wherever they were. The packaged set had borne no return address, anonymous packing labels sent from his own country meant little: his opponent could be anywhere.

He worried, sometimes. He didn’t deserve this gift, something so beautiful. He had expressed his gratitude through the chat box, but didn’t know if he should ask anything more, and nothing more had been asked of him. Just to play. Which he had done, night after night, recording the scores in the leather-bound book.

Sometimes he felt that his opponent was letting him win, occasionally, to keep him interested. Most times, when he felt like the game was within his reach, he felt, and saw, and experienced, in the movement of the alabaster pieces, the game slip away. His opponent never seemed to mind. Just played again the next night, and he moved the pieces and recorded the scores as he had done for weeks, for months.

This time, though, he was trying something new. The knight sacrifice opening.

The alabaster horse felt cool under his nervous fingers as he made the first move.

Nf3

Inspired by a prompt from here.

Nervy Knights – Dead Deer

Striding extravagantly through the ancient hall toward the exit this was a man sure of his place in the world. Glancing neither to the left nor the right he allowed the harsh light behind the huge wooden doors to envelope him, as if the sun shone only for this moment. Miraculously the door of the waiting Mercedes opened and the warmed leather of the rear seat relished the opportunity to comfort his presence. Long were the years since he had seen a closed gate and those at The Palace Of Westminster receded on cue, prostrating themselves for him, as all did.

Despite the exquisite air-conditioned interior Sir Ronald finally allowed his forehead to exhale a bead of sweat. “How could anyone know?” ran through his mind once more, “and if they did, it is only a minor matter.” The circles of thought formed as perfectly as the next tiny globe running down his brow. His mind knew that it was not convincing itself and should it succeed in doing so even his iron will would not convince many, any, others. Yet It whirred and whirred on.

Today I wrote from 15:01 to 15:11. And goodness me, it is still getting hard. Very short again today. A dry spell, hopefully it will pass. I was prompted by ideas here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here