21 April 2007

2 Steps Away From Check Mate?

I am not a great Chess player, but I do enjoy playing from time to time, especially when I have numerous moves planned well in advance and my opponent arrogantly refuses to admit to his mistakes. This current game of Chess, where 1 person plays each piece began in December. I am the white king, the weakest and most vulnerable piece on the board. During Holy Week, thanks to the black bishop and the bishop's pawn, my side was down to my king and 2 knights. It looked like checkmate was inevitable for my king as I slyly reclaimed a rook which went unnoticed by my opponent. Interestingly, my knights are ones that my sides gained by taking my opponent's 2 knights. During Pascha, my side got the white bishop back, the very white bishop which the black team thought they had taken for good. Last night, just when moves were made so that the black bishop and the bishops' pawn could be knocked off the board in 2 moves, thanks to my reclaimed white bishop, my opponent cried, "Check!" My king was not in check, but was exactly where I wanted him to be. I wondered what the punishment for calling "Check" falsely was and here is the answer from the official rules: " When done on purpose, then an arbiter could punish you, as this would be a case of distracting the opponent, and/or making unreasonable claims." That seems fair to me, especially since the white bishop is the designated arbiter! We are 2 moves away from checkmate and either white or black could win, but it is all in the hands of an arbiter now, now matter how loud my opponent screams, "Check!" Exciting times for me and my 2 knights, and the many spectators rooting us on.

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