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The Chess Player (standard:other, 1584 words)
Author: Rattan MannAdded: Oct 26 2007Views/Reads: 2042/1339Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A shepherd vs a king in a game of chess

The Chess Player 

Rattan Mann 

Once upon a time there was a simpleton who in his innocence loved
Christ.  So he became a shepherd and loved his job.  But he had another 
secret love.  He also loved chess because the chessboard always 
reminded him that Christ was also a carpenter. Unfortunately, these two 
love did not mix well.  He took the sheep to the mountains, but there 
he would start playing chess against himself and forget all about the 
sheep.  The sheep would wander away and get lost forever.  Some were 
even eaten by wolves. This made the owners mad and they stopped 
trusting their sheep with him.  Thus they took away half of Christ 
inside him. 

After losing the only job he loved, he just sat in his hut the whole
day, watching sheep from a distance, playing chess, and talking to 
Christ.  Sometimes when he became tired of these three things he cried 
because he felt very lonely. 

As chess was now the only thing that reminded him of Christ, he decided
to become very good at it. But no chess-master in the village would 
teach him good moves because they all were in the payrolls of the 
sheep-owners, and the sheep-owners were all hell-bent in punishing him 
for not looking after their sheep.  So he decided to learn from the 
sheep things that man would not teach him, make sheeps' rules his 
rules, and play chess as no man had ever played before.  And very 
strange rules they were indeed. 

As he played chess, he would look at the sheep roaming in the mountains.
 Whenever the sheep went up the mountains, he would move up on the 
chess-board, whenever they moved down, he too would move down.  When he 
saw the sheep moving along the left bank of the river, he too moved 
left on the chessboard, and when they moved on the right bank, he too 
went right.  Whenever he couldn't see the sheep because they were on 
the other side of the mountain or hidden in fog, he moved diagonally on 
the chessboard.  He called them Christ's Moves because he was sure this 
is the way Christ would have taught him chess. 

And with those simple rules learned from Christ, he became a very great
chess-player. Not even the best chess-masters in the village could 
defeat him. 

Everybody was surprised.  Nobody could understand how he became so good
without a guide. But nobody liked it either.  Everybody became so 
jealous of him that they decided to get rid of him by hook or crook. 

Soon they found a way to get rid of him and take away the other half of
Christ inside him. 

One day the grand chess master of the village came to the simpleton with
good tidings.  The king had offered a huge reward and his daughter in 
marriage to anyone who would defeat him in chess. 

Actually they were evil tidings because the king was a very evil king
and a very poor chess player.  It was child's play to defeat the king.  
But instead of getting a reward, the winner was put to death 
immediately.  That was the kings way of satisfying his lust for 
innocent blood. Every chess player in the kingdom knew this secret 
except the simpleton because he was Christ's man and so he heard or saw 
no evil.  He readily fell into the trap. 

He started towards the king's capital, singing, and dancing, and telling
everybody on the way that he was going to defeat the king in chess and 
marry his daughter.  On hearing this, people would hide their faces to 
muffle their screams, bow to him in deep reverence, and invited him to 
dine with them because they knew that this was the poor guy's Last 
Supper for he was heading towards betrayal and death.  But this 
unexpected reverence and kindness only increased his confidence and 
fuelled his desire to defeat the king because he was the only guy in 
the kingdom who was unaware of his fate. 

When he reached the capital, he was shocked to see that there were no
animals, no sheep, no cattle, no trees, no fresh air in the city - just 
smoke and smog, tall buildings, and the king's palace looming in the 

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