Monday, January 23, 2006


Contrary to popular belief the origins of chess are not Indian, Persian or Chinese. The game was devised on the planet Chaos-IV as a means for the two co-rulers to govern the unmanageable planet. After centuries of fierce and brutal warfare between factions of rigid traditionalism and adherents to radical unorthodoxy, wiser councils in the planet's population prevailed with a shrewd concept to bring both sides together, save the planet, and encourage the spirit of competition. The heads of state, the two ablest minds the respective factions had to offer, would play a game of chess to ascertain ruling decision. If the traditionalist won, the decision would be his. If the unorthodox ruler achieved checkmate, he would make the decision. In the event of a stalemate, a synthesis of both points-of-view established policy. This method provided the balance necessary for the planet to not only survive, but held the drawbacks of each approach in check. In practice it proved to have one limitation. Chess games could be excruciatingly long. If an urgent situation required snap judgment the two venerable leaders dispensed with the chess and flipped a coin.

Story #329

All the stories have been reposted at indeterminacies.blogspot.com. And good luck to Viruswitch who's playing against a real grand master of chess in a few days.

20 comments:

The Mushroom said...

Yes, it does appear to be a photo of a photo - the white space around the top and right sides, and the shadow on the top-left edge, give it away. Can't tell if that's a personal photo or a picture (like from a greeting card) but I will say that if I came across a picture of two guys who looked like that playing chess and I weren't able to take/buy it, I'd snap a photo too.

Man Fuchu and his friend Ed Gruberman, the Ti Kwan Leep monk, played chess every Tuesday. They'd have a friendly game of draughts in the monk's cloister, next to the fire, and the prize was the same every week: the winner would get to spend the week in town, the loser would put on the cowl and be a sedentary mendicant for the week. This worked out well for both of them; Ed got to go out drinking and carrousing, Fuchu got to spend time around nude holy men in the stone shower room. The monks were never aware of the swap, and any who might have figured something couldn't say anything due to their vows of silence and of chastity. Fuchu's wife thought the arrangement was just fine, but the more feast-or-famine it became for her after dark she decided she should give Ed a book on Bobby Fischer's strategies.

Jamie Dawn said...

Very clever story, Mush.

Forced to play chess in this small room for centuries, the men knew they were in hell. Why hadn't they been better men? Why had they repeatedly cheated to win? They thought no one was watching. They thought no one would ever know what they'd done. In life, they'd been champions. Now, they were forced to play by the rules for all eternity.

viruswitch said...

This is the story my father thought when I showed him this picture. I will write mine a bit later.

"The great scientists are currently making an interval from their succesful efforts related to scientific discoveries. They have been researching the transformation of the human DNA and are on the verge of a great discovery that might deserve the Nobel. Now, satisfied and tired from the good results they achieved, are enjoying a chess game to help them continue their work with a clearer mind."

ariel said...

great stories Mushroom and Jamie. your playful minds are full of ideas.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

great storiy mushroom, it does appear to be as stated a photo within an photo.

I love chess but due to an inhernet lack of concentration suck at it.

viruswitch said...

The kings of the New Lands had discovered a new way to train their armies and transfom the youth of their nations into mighty military units. The Game was invented. Parents were anticipating to bring their children to the public game-academies hoping that they would bring glory and fame to their family. They were the new heros, the knights of freedom and the keepers of peace, the hope of the New Lands. Since ages had they been serving an unknown and unseen dynast. But now the rules had changed; a new way had been discovered to win the fatal chess wars. Now real people joined the battlefields, shrinked as billions of pawns, rooks and bishops, cutting and chopping their enemies into small pieces. The unseen king gradually lost his power over the black and white landscapes and finally exploded revealing his real identity. He had been a computer!

After a thousand years, chess is still the most popular game in the New Lands, even if most have forgotten its true origin.

viruswitch said...

I must say I also found your stories very original and funny! I wonder how you can think up all these things :))!

viruswitch said...

And finally thanks Indie and everyone for this chess-weekend ! :)
Normally I dont stand a chance in front of the chessmaster but there is a wicked plan B, that will result in the champions hangover... was not my idea... for the record.

taorist said...

Kunichua San
Jose plays in front of the
mirror universe

Young at Heart in San Diego said...

I agree that this looks like a picture within a picture within a picture… look at that fireplace…thinking about the infinity of that got my head spinning so here is what I came up with:
Karl and Bo were tired of football and it was too cold to go fishing. “Let’s get high”, Karl suggested, and it was decided. Rather than eat the magic mushrooms all at once, they would use them as game pieces. As soon as you captured one of your opponent’s men, you would swallow it down like a jagged little pill. The problem was that it was a difficult game and there were too many pieces. Soon, after the first few pawns were swallowed, Bo realized that the room had changed. His jeans had morphed into a flowing robe and the hair on his head appeared to have vanished. Although his goatee was still in place, it felt strangely coarser. Suddenly he was tired of this game. “Let’s go crack the DaVinci code,” he suddenly exclaimed, and it was decided.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Okay, I want to do this story, but I can't for at least 2 days. But I got some chess tales. I'll be back!

Indeterminacy said...

I just read all the stories and think they're great and imaginative. You'll see my story tonight, but I think it could be better. My method of writing described in the last post doesn't say what to do if no ideas arrive at all.

Enemy: There's no hurry. Take three days, if you like.

ariel said...

in that case, Indie, you're supposed to steal others' ideas. :)

hey, Wiruswitch, wouldn't it be so much more civilized to decide border debates with chess games?

viruswitch said...

Its definetely more civilized Ariel! That would make countries train clever soldiers in chess, instead of buying military equipment all the time.

I liked your story Indie. Finally someone telling us the truth about the mysterious origin of chess :D. Because such a game cannot be a creation of planet earth, seriously I think chess is something very... OCCULT!

Indeterminacy said...

Mushroom: It sounds so real. Great and funny!

Jamie: Looks like askthedevil.blogspot.com may have inspired you here. What would Little Bar of Soap say?

Virus Witch: Tell your father thank you for his contribution. He has a refreshing style. This could also be a true story.

Taorist: That's cool how we both hit on something science-fictiony. But that's also quite a concept, to play chess with your counterpart in the mirror universe.

Young at Heart: That's really original, eating the chess pieces. How about some poker chips for a snack?

Thanks once again to everyone for making it such a cool weekend!

Jamie Dawn said...

Indie: Maybe those guys should just flip a coin to make all their decisions.

Sar said...

I couldn't come up with anything original. But I enjoyed everyone else's stories. I like how you ended yours Indie. Hope Viruswatch did well in the chess match.

ariel said...

and what would be the name of that form of state, Indie?

Enemy of the Republic said...

Ok, here's my story, and I know it's lousy.

Man is walking on the beach. Death comes up to him and says: "Long have I been by your side." Man answers: "Hey, I just fought 10 years in the stupid Crusades, killing Muslims and Jews in the name of Christ. Don't I get any respect?" Death says: "I am not a respecter of persons." Man says: "Okay, tell you what, I'll play you a game of chess. If you win, I die. If I win, you die." Death answered:"That is easy enough because I am already dead. You are setting yourself up for certain failure." Man answers: "Naah, I don't think so. So what color do you want. Don't tell me--BLACK!"

The game continues for 8 weeks. Soon the Man is only left with his King, while Death still has his Queen, two Rooks, a Bishop, a knight and 4 pawns. It doesn't look good. Suddenly Man yells out: "CHECKMATE, motherfucker." Death says:" You are insane. In the next move, your king will be mine." Man answers: "I knew you would say that." He gets up and falls on his sword. Death chortles.

So who won the game?

Indeterminacy said...

Enemy: Thanks for contributing a story after all. Better late than never. This sounds like how most of my games turn out. Somehow I keep losing all my pieces. The guy got an extra 8 weeks, which is something, and he slyly took his own life, making it impossible for Death to do so. Cool and subtle.