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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cool chess short story for New Year's eve!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

It's lot of fun finding videos, poems, short stories, paintings, and lots of other creative chess expressions by chess lovers! So, it was really cool to find this nice chess story today. Enjoy.
Do you think there is an interesting twist to the short story?

Monday Writing Essential: Chess with dead warlocks.
by Franklin Newman 

 It had been a nightmarish day at the Symington clinic that morning. The outbreak of a flue virus had caused a panic among the parents, but because she's Kylie Moriarty, Dr. Kylie Moriarty had gotten it sorted out. Now everything was peaceful enough for her to actually take her lunch break. The pizza she ordered from "Pizza Heaven" showed up, and so she took it and her tea and went to her office. To relax, she decided to use her computer and check out the latest record by thespian superstar Sarah Willopps, who just happened to be her best friend. As she was listening to Sarah's top hit this week, a message box popped up, alerting her of a new e-mail. Kylie did not recognize the e-mail address it came from, so she decided to run a security scan. When she did, a second message box popped up, declaring a second message.

"Not exactly the brightest thing to do, clicking on e-mails when you don't know the source." With a snap of her fingers, she looked at the e-mail's address and then searched for the source. She discovered, to her grave surprise, that the e-mail actually came from Hell. "How utterly queer. Who in Hell would wish to bother with me?" A third message box popped up, indicating yet again another e-mail. Intrigued, Kylie clicked on the box and reviewed the e-mail. The name caused her to gasp, for it was Matthew Sheridan. The old warlock, her deadliest arch-enemy and one of her best friends, long since killed years ago by Kylie's magic, was requesting a chess game. She could hardly resist, and sent a message back agreeing to the game.

"It's been a long time," Sheridan e-mailed back. "And it took me a long time to get permission to do this."
"You're in Hell, Sheridan," Kylie countered with an e-mail of her own. "I didn't know they had computers there."

"They've got everything here," Sheridan answered. "But it takes forever to get it to work. Imagine the worst life has to offer, multiplied. And no, Kylie dear, I don't mean America. Honestly, I don't see what you've got against the place. Nor do I want an answer. Your thinking can often be as twisted as my own."
"We often were the only two who understood each other," she answered. "How've you been lately?"

"I'm getting out soon," Sheridan wrote. "Found a little neophite mage who I've convinced to resurrect me. Back to old times."

"I don't do that anymore," Kylie replied. "No more world-saving for me. Just a little town Doctor now."

"Yeah right," Sheridan retorted. "You can't help but solve everyone's problems. Maybe I can solve one for you."

"Maybe," Kylie wrote, "I insist you not solve me boredom, however. Shall we begin?"

"Yes," Sheridan replied. "I'll take black."

"You'll take white," Kylie argued. "Spend most of your life being black."

"You just want the advantage of not going first," Sheridan replied. Kylie sent back a wink symbol. He answered with an icon that represented laughter.

"Let us begin," Kylie answered. Sheridan opened a program, and invited Kylie to it. She clicked on the invitation link, and a chessboard appeared on the computer screen, completely set up and ready to go.

"Yes," Sheridan wrote back. He moved Queen's knight to to C-3. "Control of the center is very important."

"I never thought so," Kylie replied. She moved Queen's rook's pawn to A-5.

"You must be getting rusty," Sheridan answered. He moved Queen's pawn to D-3

Without saying anything, Kylie simply moved Queen's bishop's pawn to C-6.

"So what's new with you, Matthew," Kylie wrote him?

"Oh, me? You will not believe it," Sheridan replied. Then he moved Queen to D-2.

"Jazmine left me."

"That's no surprise," Kylie responded. "She loved your magic, not you.

She was the biggest tramp to come along since Madonna."

"Supertramp," Sheridan lamented. "How did I not see it?"

"She was the villiage bicycle, Matthew. You're well rid of her. Who'd she leave you for?" With that, Kylie moved King's pawn to E-6.

"A big rock star who died in the 70's," Sheridan answered. "But she didn't stay long. She started cheating on him with a televangelist." This caused Kylie to physically laugh. Meanwhile, Sheridan moved Queen to E-3. In response, Kylie moved King's bishop's pawn to F-5.

"How long did she stay with him," Kylie wrote back?

"Until his money ran out, of course," Sheridan said. "You'd think being Queen of Flourae would satisfy her. And I could've taught her any spell she wanted to know."

"A wizardess with no intelligence is as unimpressive as a fighter with no strength," Kylie fired off.

"You're right," Sheridan replied. "On to other news." Then he moved Queen's bishop to E-2. And Kylie moved Queen's knight's pawn to B-5. "My powers of prophecy and fortune-telling have really improved. Plus, being without Jazmine Rozzekker wasting all my money, my money-making skills have benefitted, too."

"No more need to go out and take over the world now then, I presume," Kylie replied. Sheridan sent her an e-mail with a laughing symbol, then a follow-up.

"That was never really my intention," Sheridan argued. "Everyone around me wanted that. Takurem, and Rolaina, Scott, Lignoss and his brothers. They wanted the power of Callistor. Not me. Not that I wasn't tempted but . . ."

"I know," Kylie wrote. "How's your bi-polar disorder?"

"It's gone," Sheridan answered. "Hell cures all your diseases, so you're in prime shape to be tortured. Then it starts anew every morning."

"Remind me never to visit," Kylie replied. In response, Sheridan castled on the Queen's side. And Kylie moved Queen's knight's pawn to B-4.

"Oh, so that's your game," Sheridan wrote.

"It couldn't be clearer you intended to castle," Kylie replied. "How many times need I tell you castling is a trap."

"Says a woman who uses her King to attack when no one else would dare," Sheridan countered. "Only one safe spot for my knight to go." He promptly moved his knight to A-4.

"What were you saying about making money," Kylie inquired?

"Oh yes. Well, I've been able to use some human psychics who didn't think before they astrally projected. Makes it so easy for a soul like me to slip in and take over while they're out."

"Ghost in the machine syndrome," Kylie answered.

"Exactly," Sheridan said. "Since my divination skills have improved so well . . . it's amazing how effective torture is at focusing a person, bringing out hidden talents and sharpening current ones."

"Almost mascochistic."

"Actually yes," Sheridan wrote. "They punish mascochists here by forcing them to endure endless pleasure and joy. Of all the people with nothing in Hell to complain about. And it's your move."

"I know," Kylie wrote. She moved Queen to F-6.

"If that's the way you want it," Sheridan answered. He moved Queen's bishop to C-3.

"Are you sure," Kylie asked? "Please reconsider." Sheridan looked at the board again, and realized that he'd put his bishop right where Kylie's pawn could kill him.

"May I," he asked?

"Just this once," Kylie said. "But I've the right to one reconsideration meself."

"Fair is fair." He put the bishop back to B-4, and moved his knight to B-6 instead. "There. A split, Kylie. Have to choose. The bishop or the rook?" She answered by moving Queen's bishop to B-7.

"Go for my rook and your knight is also lost," Kylie warned.

"I take it you forgot the value of the pieces," Sheridan answered. He gladly moved his knight to A-8, killing Kylie's rook. She answered by moving her bishop to A-8, slaying his knight. He reacted to that by moving Queen's pawn to D-4. So Kylie struck back, moving King's bishop's pawn to F-4. Sheridan simply moved Queen to E-4. Then Kylie moved Queen's pawn to D-5.

"I didn't care for Rolaina or Jazmine," Kylie wrote. "And I don't care for this one either. You've got terrible taste in Queens."

"I offered you the position once," Sheridan replied.

"Forgive me, but I don't date outside me species," Kylie answered.

"I'm offended," Sheridan joked. "I'm human."

"Aye, but I'm an Orc. This human form is just a glamour," Kylie responded.

"When did you become an Orc," Sheridan asked?

"After Scott and I killed each other," Kylie replied.

"I thought he loved you."

"Mere obsession, Matthew, nothing more. Love doesn't involve violence."

"He told me about that," Sheridan wrote. "One day he got drunk and jealous and started beating you. No one does that to people like me, or you."

"Exactly," Kylie rejoined. "Never strike a witch. You won't like what happens."

"At least this Queen has the sense to know when she's not wanted," Sheridan said. He moved Queen back to D-3. Kylie moved King to D-7. "Stop that. I won't be distracted by you flaunting your King around," Sheridan shot off. He moved King's rook's pawn to H-4. Kylie merely moved King to C-7. Sheridan moved King's pawn to E-3. Kylie moved King to B-6.

"If you use your Queen to move to the white squares next to me King, she will die either by me knight or me princesses. You'll need to find another approach."

"Did I mention that I hate you," Sheridan asked?

"Frequently," Kylie answered.

"By the way," Sheridan asked, "I've always wondered why you call pawns Princesses."

"Because they become Queens most frequently," Kylie said. "What could be more logical?"

"Maybe I should try a spell to heal your autism. Remove all this logical thinking."

"You're just mad because I out-thought you whenever you hatched your evil plans," Kylie said. "Speaking of evil plans, what is Scott up to now?"

"Oh, him? He's around me all the time," Sheridan said. He moved Queen to B-3.

Kylie moved King's bishop to D-6. "He mopes around, and I don't envy him. At times, I regret invading eath to save him and having you prove with your D&A tests that he was my son."

"You saved him from Mark Frakes, an abusive man who'd let his superhero powers override his good judgement and his restraint," Kylie said. "Scott was being abused."

"Yes, and became an abuser. I hardly did him any favors by allowing Takurem to influence him," Sheridan said. "At least my two daughters turned out all right. Do you talk to them?"

"Vickie's too busy protecting the druids and working with Madame Kirustinu," Kylie explained. "You'd never know her. Jackie and I speak often enough. She's visiting soon. Shall I send her your regards?"

"Better not," Sheridan shot back. "She and I aren't exactly on opposite sides of the law."

"Neither are we, but we get on great, when you're not trying another dastardly scheme."

"It's not quite the same," Sheridan said. "Fathers and daughters are a more difficult relationship than a man and his daughter-in-law. By the way, how is Steve?"

"Chief detective on the Symington police force," Kylie said. "And unlike me, Steve is still in the business of saving the world. He'd be so cheesed if he knew you were active on earth again."

"Don't worry," Sheridan said. "If I did come, I'd come only as a father come to see his family."

"I'd advise against it," Kylie warned. Sheridan moved Queen to A-4. Kylie moved King's knight to E-7.

"Let's see if I can clean up some of this mess you've made of the chessboard," Sheridan wrote. He moved Queen's bishop to B-4. "Now it looks like I've got you trapped, because however you take my bishop, you open up a doorway for my Queen."

"I think I see the way out." Then Kylie moved King's bishop's pawn to E-3, taking

Sheridan's King's pawn.

"Playing pawns won't save your bishop, or your King," Sheridan argued. He moved Queen to E-5, taking Kylie's Queen's rook's pawn.

"Only a threat if I let it be," she said. She moved King to B-7. Sheridan moved his bishop to D-6, killing Kylie's bishop.

"You must be rusty," Sheridan wrote. Ignoring him, Kylie moved Queen to F-2, taking Sheridan's pawn. Sheridan scoffed at this, and picked up his Queen to send it to A-6, to directly threaten Kylie's King. But as he was doing it, he realized her knight was stationed on B-8. A typical Kylie trap, and he nearly walked right into it. But because he did not remove his hand from the Queen, he broke no law from changing his mind. He realized he could still get her indirectly, and moved Queen to B-4. "Check."

"Quite," Kylie stated. She retreated King to C-8. He couldn't get her now.

"That's only stalling," Sheridan wrote. He sent Queen to E-5.

"You forget who I am," Kylie replied. Boldly, she moved King to D-7. So Sheridan moved Queen to B-4. And in response, Kylie moved King's rook to C-8.

"Ah, so that's what you were planning," Sheridan wrote. "And all I did was help you out by cleaning up part of the board."

"No, you also put me in check," Kylie stated. "Drawing in the snare."

"Speaking of snares," Sheridan said. "We forgot to finish talking about Scott."

"I'm sorry I brought it up," Kylie said.

"And I'm sorry I didn't, bring him up, that is," Sheridan said. "He has all of Simon Freznik's psychic powers but none of Simon's discipline. Even for the most evil man I ever sensed, Simon was no fool, but coldly calculating. Scott is being eaten alive by the power. I wish I could do something to redeem him, save him. If he'd let me, I'd use a spell to strip him of his memory. Then he could start life over again, fresh and new."

"You know, that's one more thing we both have in common," Kylie said. "We both love Scott, and yet each of us knows he needs to be destroyed."

"Agreed," Sheridan said. Sheridan moved King's bishop to A-6.

Only to realize he'd walked right into Kylie's trap after all. Her knight moved to A-6 and slaughtered his bishop. To save his Queen, he moved her to A-3. Gently, Kylie moved King's pawn to E-5.

"I've put some bondage magic on Scott, but he doesn't know it yet. It confines his greatest abilities, though nowhere near as much as you killing him with his own power did, Kylie."

"It had to be done," she wrote.

"I know. He mourns for the loss of you, but his particular madness, Hell doesn't heal. For him, they're leaving him burdened with it forever," Sheridan said. "It breaks my cold, evil heart."

"I know," she wrote back. "Maybe I'll visit Hell after all. Perhaps I can help."

"I think I'd be glad if you did," Sheridan answered. Sheridan moved King's knight to H-3. Kylie moved Queen to G-2, taking Sheridan's pawn. So he countered, moving Queen's rook to G-1. Kylie took her Queen away, to E-4. Sheridan moved Queen to A-6, killing Kylie's knight. And Kylie moved King's rook to D-8. Then Sheridan moved Queen to A-7. "Once again, check," Sheridan wrote.

"But the log jam is slowly breaking up," Kylie answered. She moved King to E-6. Sheridan moved Queen to E-7, killing Kylie's knight.

"Yet again, check. Running out of answers." Kylie moved her King to F-5, so Sheridan moved his Queen to D-4, slaying her rook. Kylie moved King's bishop's pawn to E-2. So, Sheridan moved his Queen to F-8. "You're not going to get another Queen, Kylie. And it's check."

"So did I tell you about Doctor Beltane, Matthew," Kylie wrote?

"No, you didn't," Sheridan remarked.

"She resigned from medicine due to age, and left me in control of the clinic. Her daughter's in control of the family coven."

"Then Karyn Beltane must be the most bored woman in England," Sheridan wrote.

"Actually, no," Kylie corrected him. "She ran for Mayor of Symington, and won, with her completely brill 'I am a witch' campaign."

"Oh my," Sheridan said. "I wonder where she got that idea."

"From an American politician with more mouth than sense," Kylie shot back. Kylie returned her King to E-6. Sheridan moves his King's knight to G-5. "Yet again, check." Quickly, Kylie moved her King to D-7. Sheridan moved his Knight to D-4, slaying Kylie's Queen. But it got answered by Kylie moving King's pawn to E-4, slaying the knight. So, Sheridan moved Queen's rook to G-7. "Give up, my girl. This game is mine. I told you, you're rusty."

"Not quite," Kylie wrote. Then she moved her King back to E-6. Closing in, Sheridan moved his Queen to F-6.

"Check." Kylie escaped with King to D-5. Undaunted, Sheridan sent Queen to E-5, slaying a pawn and once again putting Kylie in check. She sent her King to C-4. Finally, Sheridan moved Queen to C-5. It was over.

"Checkmate, I believe," Kylie wrote to Sheridan. "You are right. I am rusty. But don't you worry. I'll get together with me brother, Kelly, and we'll practice all day like we used to do. Then we'll see who's rusty!"

"You're on," Sheridan said. There was a knock at the door. Kylie looked up, and saw Nolan, her Brazillian head nurse, waiting outside.

"Hey, Doctor, we need you up front. It's a medical emergency. Someone's having a heart attack."

"Be right there," Kylie said. Then she wrote Sheridan an apology for having to leave so quickly.

"Sheridan, I need to go. A heart attack."

"I understand. I'll be waiting for your visit," Sheridan wrote back.

"We'll play another game of chess," Kylie answered. Then she grabbed her green medical backpack and ran out of her office. 

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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