< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 33 OF 33 ·
|Dec-20-08|| ||AllergicToTurtles: There was no sign of the Knights until quite a long time later. The horses had no intention to meet the Ghost again. Ultimately however, the castle garrison started to march closer again, and that was a rather obvious sign the Knights were coming back. Sure enough, within a minute they heard hoofbeats behind them again, and then more neighing and screaming as the Ghost blocked their way. It took some time for silence to be resumed. Apparently, the Knights hadn't given up easily this time.|
'They'll try one more time,' Garpalf said. 'And if I understand Drawkorn's plan correctly, that time the Ghost will do nothing.'
Drawkorn allowed himself a rare smile. 'Exactly.'
The following hour appeared the longest in their lives. Were the Knights just being very careful this time round, or had they given up earlier than Garpalf and Drawkorn thought? The continued presence of the castle garrison above them suggested they had not, but you couldn't be sure... until, ultimately, the clappity-clap of hooves hitting road came up again.
'Amperanda! You hold the horses back! They won't like <your> whip at all!'
The grandmaster nodded grimly. Garpalf joined him as they turned around to meet the Knights' attack. Normally, two infantrymen shouldn't try to defend against a cavalry charge on their own, especially without pikes. But the Knights would have to charge uphill, and Amperanda and Garpalf were in any case worth much more than Joe the Pikeman. Besides, the Ghost would soon rresume action.
'Can we finally go and smash the anvil?'
Drawkorn sighed. 'Yes, Inche, now we can go and smash the anvil.'
Vlodo and Swisher had forgotten to close the door behind them. Before Swisher had time to do more than stand up, a man in completely black clothes, a black moustache, a black cap and utter insanity in his expression charged in and knocked him off-balance. Swisher fell again, only narrowly missing the glow. His wrist crunched nastily and stars of pain filled his vision.
As sight slowly returned, he almost hoped it hadn't. The glow seemed brighter now, and it illuminated the square or, rather, fighting ring. The black man had grasped Vlodo by the glasses; the struggling Champion's arms made useless swinging motions, but the glasses refused to come off. Goldum - the man had to be Goldum - grasped Vlodo tighter still, leaned forward, exposed his teeth and bit into Vlodo's ear. He forced his teeth together with malevolent energy, and Vlodo let out a horrible high-pitched scream. But Goldum was dancing like the madman he was, Vlodo's ear and the glasses still in his teeth. The glasses reflected the bright blue glow right into Swisher's eyes, and it was close them or have the whole starry universe fill his eyes again. And then he realized it wasn't just a reflection: the glasses were glowing on their own, in the same horribly bright blue and red as the stream of raw energy that powered Deep Black.
'Mine, mine, mine!!! MINE!!!!' Goldum was shouting and cackling with the extra exclamation marks of the truly insane. 'My precious glasses!!!!!! My...' And then, his foot slipped on the appropriately blood-coloured carpet, and he fell forward and the glasses still hanging from his mouth met the energy stream. '!!!!!!!!!!' He screamed, but no audible sound came out.
There was a moment of pause for uncertain disbelief as the world held breath. Then everything went bang with a blinding light. The whole castle shook as if hit by an eight point five Richter earthquake, and then fell apart. The stream of energy that fed Deep Black pulsated in an angry purple before dying.
|Dec-20-08|| ||AllergicToTurtles: The grandmasters' fight against the castle garrison was quick and dirty. The grandmasters weren't all that badly outnumbered and had far superior skill and weapons. Inche was full of adrenaline and apparently loved beheading everyone in sight. Once, he even accidentally swung towards Drawkorn, who had to block the blow with his chessboard. Luckily, the board was tougher than the defenders' shields had been. You couldn't battle with toy weapons.|
Amperanda shouted from below. 'We're alright but the Knights will come through soon! All but one have been unhorsed though!
Randomuzbekov picked up his bow and aimed down the hill. An arrow hit the last horse in the eye and the animal fell, taking the Knight down with it.
'We'll have to retreat anyway!'
'Not a problem, we're nearly done with the anvil.'
And then, apparently out of nowhere, further black pawns ran down the hill to take the place of their fallen colleagues. Two of the Knights had gone down, but the other three cheered upon the sight of new friends and pressed on harder than ever.
Inche was having problems now. He'd run out of berserk strength, and his axe had been slightly blunted by Drawkorn's board. It really was <very> tough. Mormonov came to help him, only to be nastily hit in the sword arm by one of the new Black pawns. Drawkorn too, the board now in his left hand, was about to be overwhelmed; nobody meets the Axe of Diplomacy without taking damage. Randomuzbekov's strange sword was more effective, but it had quite a lot of work to do. In spite of their best plans, the grandmasters were between the anvil and the hammer.
Then, suddenly, action ceased. The Black men simply froze. So did the White ones, though not in obedience to the Rules but as a result of shock. This wasn't supposed to happen.
They watched mutely as the whole mountain shook. The Eye blinked and then died away. Everything was dark for an instant, and then everything went white. They saw nothing, but heard an explosion and continuous crashes. Then everything went dark again, and they still saw nothing.
The sun came up. It wasn't supposed do that until quite a few hours later, but laws of narrative required the scene to be immediately observable so it had to wake up early. The grandmasters solemnly examined the complete lack of a castle above them. Only some particularly resilient walls remained. Most of the rest was lying in pieces of all sizes all over the mountain's slopes, and they saw they'd been lucky not to be hit by any.
'Ilyund's as good as dead,' Garpalf finally said.
'What the hell do you mean?'
'His tower's now the tallest in the world,' the bishop replied with a devilish grin. 'He'll choke under his pride.'
Inche grinned, too. 'Any nominations for a new Leader?'
|Dec-20-08|| ||AllergicToTurtles: Swisher opened his eyes. The stream of energy wasn't there anymore. In fact, not much else was there anymore; the ceiling, for instance, was nowhere to be seen. The cheating glasses had vanished. Of Goldum, nothing was left but a pile of ash. But Vlodo was there, pale and exhausted yet apparently himself, not a King. In his eyes there was peace, not fear, not madness, not the desperate need to make it to the eighth rank. And he remembered the basic rule his father had taught him when he was four: when a promoted pawn is captured, it becomes a pawn again. His master was safe, albeit, as Swisher was reminded upon seeing, down an ear. Somehow, that made him realize what had just happened. They'd done it! Actually destroyed not only the glasses, but Deep Black and its castle as well! And they'd even survived it! Vlodo apparently wasn't feeling the same euphoria yet, and no wonder - being degraded from King to pawn and losing an ear in the process can have such an effect on people. What could you say at a time like this?|
'We're out of vodka. The last bottle shattered when I was knocked down.'
<And so endeth the epic. I hope you enjoyed it.>
|Dec-21-08|| ||Annie K.: Standing ovation!!
(and !!!!! for good measure) :)
|Dec-21-08|| ||al wazir: Very vivid and, um, imaginative writing. Your characters are well delineated and the dialog is sharp . . . but isn't the storyline -- how can I put this delicately? -- a trifle *derivative*?|
|Dec-21-08|| ||Marmot PFL: I just read that Moscow has more billionaires than any other city in the world. It seems that Marxist/Lenninism really does work.|
|Jan-02-09|| ||WhiteRook48: So is Moscow a team of players? Like the chessgames challenge??|
|May-02-09|| ||Dredge Rivers: Hey, guys! Bury Lenin already!|
|Oct-31-09|| ||Raisin Death Ray: <AllergicToTurtles> I'm sorry, I didn't catch what you said. Could you please repeat it?|
|Dec-24-09|| ||chessamateur: Now that Moscow seems retired someone needs to put together the Best of Moscow DVD. I imagine the Yoozum Anthology would dominate.|
|Jan-06-10|| ||OhioChessFan: I still have notes from my unfinished Lord of the Files. I look at them occasionally and wonder if I should finish it.|
|Nov-08-10|| ||Domdaniel: Suddenly, <Agent Dak> burst in, pushing a plump chap in cricket whites roughly before him.|
"Staked out the roof, boss, as you suggested. Caught this one trying to do a flying ninja."
"Oho" said Prise. "A Svidler on the roof".
The plump boy burst into tears. "Yarooh, you beasts, let me go", he cried. "I've got a postal order coming and I've never Svidled anyone, so there."
|Nov-08-10|| ||Domdaniel: <Deffi> thought this should be here. I couldn't possibly comment...|
With a mask covering his eyes, N. cautiously allowed his fingers to touch the strange wooden chessboard. Real pieces! He marveled at the oldness of everything in the old world. Did these guys even *have* mouses, never mind preloads and uploads and downloads?
His fingers found a piece. Something ... horsey? ... about its shape. Maybe a Knight. On his right, so maybe g1? Was he black or white? Oh, yeah.
Carefully, he picked up the horse-thing and let his fingers count three squares in from the edge of the board, trying not to knock over any pawns.
"1.Nf3", he announced. "Oh darn, have I flagged out *again*?"
|Nov-08-10|| ||Annie K.: It's alive!! =)
Good stuff, <Dom>. :D
And I'm flattered by your borrowing of the <F-Files> cast! :)
|Dec-27-10|| ||Open Defence: <The aging Super GM returned from his morning walk.|
His granddaughter played with her dolls on the living room carpet uninterested in his whereabouts.
It is the evening walk that interests her, not the morning walk he noted. They only play chess in the parks during the evening.
He creaked into his wooden chair and slipped off his shoes. Wood was rare these days, if he was not careful it might be confiscated, what with all these wood borne bacterial mutations around! He shuddered to think what would happen if the health department commandos came calling.
Yes, the 22nd century was not what he imagined it would be. There was free healthcare, and he was thankful for that. The Rogoff Amendment ensured that his meagre medical needs were taken care off, why the Doctors even bet that he would live past a hundred and fifty years!
His daughter though had a different opinion of the Rogoff Amendment, unjust taxation she said, something about it being regressive rather than progressive. Well one's opinion changes depending on how well one's bowels move he thought to himself.>
to be continued....
|Jun-11-11|| ||AllergicToTurtles: Looks like this old place is getting dusty... well, time I gave it an airing.|
The third thing Andy noticed about the umbrella was that it was yellow. Aggressively yellow. It radiated yellowness as if that, rather than keeping the rain out, were the job it had so craftily been made for. And it wasn't the sort of creamy oily yellow you usually get on umbrellas; it was a bright, blinding yellow.
The second thing Andy noticed about the umbrella was that it was open, and therefore somewhat out of place here in the big hall, what with the ceiling and all. In other words, the umbrella unerringly identified the man sitting below as someone who not only didn't mind being thought of as weird, but was actually happy to cultivate the image.
The first thing Andy noticed about the umbrella was that it blocked his view of the big screen. And the annoying thing, the <really> annoying thing, was that you couldn't complain, because you couldn't believe your eyes...
There was, in fact, much more to the umbrella man than would meet the eye, especially an eye from behind. But he isn't the hero of this story, and neither is the unfortunate Andy. The last thing a story like this needs is a hero.
<<<NO NAME, OR, WHY IT'S SOMETIMES BETTER TO REMAIN UNTITLED>>>
'Dear ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the grand final of the World Chess Anti-Championship! Today, it will be resolved once and for all who the worst player of our times is. And best of all, we should be in for an exciting struggle - this game is played under the Elista Rules, forbidding draws shorter than forty-two moves unless the position really is drawn.'
This last announcement got a wild cheer from much of the crowd. A number of people even whistled appreciatively. Some whistled disagreeingly, among them the umbrella man; but since he was probably just out to get some attention, we won't continue to pay him any.
'And here come the players! With White today, the man who eliminated Ben from contention. One of the great chessic super-anti-heroes of our times, his abysmal play in the Candidates cycle instantly elevated him to the all-time pantheon of <really> bad players. Known for his trademark surly mood after almost every game... ladies and gentlemen, the Incredible Sulk!'
The Sulk slumped hopelessly to the board, in gloomy spirits already before the match.
'With Black, our reigning champion. Universally agreed to be the worst player ever to move a piece, he has remained undefeating for decades now. A legend in his own time, he barely needs to be introduced... NN !'
NN looked like a multicentenarian, which he was. Pushed to the stage in a wheelchair, it took newcomers some time to figure out that the curious contraption in front of him was in fact a custom-made monocle. The other eye could no longer be helped by any magic; it spoke volumes about the wonders of modern medical science that the one eye could, though to be honest you really couldn't tell by his play. With the clerk's help he extended a feeble hand to the Sulk.
'And heeeeeere,' the announcer boomed, 'all the way from California, our color commentator for today. A big hand, please, for Jimmy the Weak!'
The audience duly applauded as Jimmy's face appeared on the big screen.
'Jimmy, in your expert opinion please - who do you think will lose today?'
'Well, Sulky's sure put up an unimpressive string of results lately. His whitewashing by Ben was really something else... But NN has remained at the bottom for so long. All in all, I'd have to put my bucks on the old champ; the man's a dynasty all by himself.'
'And what opening would you expect to see uncorked?'
'Well, no time for that now, the game's already starting!'
|Jun-11-11|| ||AllergicToTurtles: 'So it is! The Sulk opens with e4, and NN responds with the Caro-Kann. The Sulk is thinking, and... what's this? Oh my god, he's playing the WannaBe! The Sulk has blundered as early as the second move, adopting the infamous WannaBe Gambit!'|
'Actually,' Jimmy inserted quite coldly, 'I think you'll find the WannaBe is considered theoretically sound.'
'Is it really? Well, the game's progressing fast now. Sulk is advancing further and further with the king, his eyes alight with all the open space. His king is already on e5! And... can this really be true! It seems NN now has a mate in one! All he has to do is move the queen to d6, and his unprecedented string of losses is finally at an end. This game could be over practically before it started... dear audience, we may be witnessing the end of an era!'
'Don't shout so loud, the players might hear you! They <say> that glass thingy's soundproof but...'
'Jimmy, Jimmy, don't be a spoilsport! Doesn't really matter now if Sulky hears us, and as for NN, poor old fellow, can't imagine his hearing's very good anymore! NN is thinking, thinking deep... and he's missed it! NN misses the mate in one! A tragic occasion... this is really the worst game I've ever seen.'
'Oh, I wouldn't know about that. What about the one from... where was it? The one with 21...Rxe1 mate.'
'Can't quite remember. I think I know which game you mean, but my old mind's mercifully wiped out all the details!'
'Anyway, back to the action. NN may have missed the mate, but I think he still has an advantage. The Sulk doesn't have any active pieces...'
'...other than the king, which is being driven back. No, it isn't, not all the way! Looks like it's getting trapped in the center. NN has two knights and his queen out now, and the Sulk's king is completely exposed. There must still be a winning combination.'
'Well, at least the Sulk now finally manages to develop his next piece of wood - the d-pawn. What was that bleep?'
'A computer warning. Says NN has a mate in one again! NN has a mate in one again! 11...b5, and the game is over. The old boy gets a second chance! Again, NN falls in deep thought...'
'Looks more like deep sleep to me. I think I can hear snoring. Told you that thing wasn't soundproof!'
'Not this way at least. For Pete's sake, someone go wake him up... ah, the clerk's prodding him now.'
'He's back up and at it. He grabs his knight and gives check... oh, man...'
'NN has missed another mate in one! He truly is amazing. And the Sulk's king is finally back at e1... could it be that he's escaping? The queens are exchanged.'
'So they are! The game is wide open again.'
'NN's still a pawn up, but most of his advantage is surely gone. Sulky's in fact developing now... mostly, it has to be said, with his king. It's back at c3 again!'
'Well, quite a few pieces have been exchanged by now. An active king could actually prove an advantage.'
'Quite a late castling for NN by the way, move twenty-seven. Those with money on that should be happy now!'
'Nice catch there.'
'Things in fact looked almost equal for a while there, but now the Sulk's knights are getting knocked about. Both pairs of rooks are exchanged.'
'I'd say it's still open! NN seems to be getting tired... judging by how he's taking another nap.'
'Well, doesn't that provide a splendid chance to give our sponsors some airtime.'
Short ads from EtaBeta Computers, Alcoholics Anonymous and finally Volvo ran on the big screen while NN tried to regain his directions.
|Jun-11-11|| ||AllergicToTurtles: 'Jimmy, d'you think NN might end up in time trouble with all this dozing off?'|
'Unlikely - other than those brief interludes this game has progressed very fast.'
'True, that. They're at move 39 already. The Sulk seems to be getting aggressive... oh, my, NN now has a protected passed pawn. That could finally really prove decisive.'
'Oh, I'm not so sure. The passer's nicely blockaded, be it mostly by accident.'
'Good point, Jimmy. NN's expanding on the queenside and... he loses his extra pawn! NN loses his extra pawn. Sorry guys, I really didn't see that one coming. Sure looks like NN's tiring at the end of a long game. White now also has a passer. This game should really be drawn now, unless... Wait, was there a tactic there I missed?'
'Dunno - but if there was, you'd think they would miss it as well, else it would be you playing out there.'
'Ouuuuuuch! NN steps right into a fork, and the Sulk goes a piece up. On top of that, his pawn is promoting. This really has been quite a rollercoaster game... and here it comes. NN resigns! NN resigns! The King has lost again, long live the King! Truly, his like will never be seen again. The Sulk is waving his hands in disbelief, and NN's long streak of losses continues unabated.'
'Unfortunately, the doping tests had to be cancelled after the organizers mislaid Volume 7 of the list of medications NN has a doctor's permission to use. That was truly a regrettable accident... but rest assured, my friends, both players' moves will be checked against a number of state-of-the-art computers, down to and including the flagship of our main sponsor - EtaBeta!'
'There's only really one more thing to say. Dear audience, thank you very much; you helped pay for this wonderful night. Jimmy, is there anything you'd like to add?'
'Told you the WannaBe's sound!'
|Jun-12-11|| ||WannaBe: I honestly have no ideas as to whether laugh, cry, laugh and cry, or cry and laugh, at the same time...|
The WannaBe Gambit is sound, if you truly play it correctly, and against a 3rd grader, from Mars, and who was just introduced to chess 3 minutes ago. And who have totally no idea who WannaBe is.
|May-10-12|| ||OhioChessFan: I <still> have my Lord of the Files files saved. Maybe some day......|
|Feb-03-14|| ||perfidious: No bio for this player? 'Course, if such a epic were undertaken, masses of bandwidth would be required.|
|Mar-10-15|| ||OhioChessFan: And again......I <still> have my Lord of the Files files saved.....|
|Aug-13-15|| ||Abdel Irada: <OCF>, you've been saying that for four years now.|
Bring 'em out already.
|Feb-13-16|| ||chessamateur: Alas poor Moscow lies dormant. A once fertile literary haven has been anti climatically extinguished.|
|Jul-28-16|| ||perfidious: That was a long break between games for this fair city; may she not have to wait quite so long, next time round!|
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 33 OF 33 ·