Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: "Living Chess" in fiction (was Re: The Twin Peaks chess game)
From: (David Goldfarb)
Date: 1991-04-08, 21:02

In article <> writes:
)I was just wondering if anyone out there with these 2 interests (chess, TP)
)has noticed the similarity of this situation to one in a book I read
)awile ago (NO idea of author, title, ....).  Anyway, in that story, an
)inmate at a Nazi concentration camp was a good chess player.  The commandant
)also was a good player and played the inmate(s) for enjoyment.  The best
)inmate refused to play so the commandant made a 'deal' -- play a game and
)if the inmate won, he'd get a reward (i forget, life?, freedom?..).  If
)he lost, he'd get some penalty (again my memory fails).  If he didn't play,
)lots of other inmates would die (obviously, the details are sketchy).
)They played -- with the other side rule that when a piece of the inmates
)was taken, an inmate from from his barracks would be killed (just as in
)TP).  The story culminated with the inmate being able to win but only
)by sacrificing his queen, which represented, of course, the inmate's son!
)The inmate chose to win the game.

	This was a (very bad) story in a recent issue of _Chess Life_. 
Kurt Vonnegut used essentially the same gimmick in his story "All the 
King's Horses" -- although there it was some Chinese warlord rather than
a Nazi. "All the King's Horses" is collected in _Welcome to the Monkey
	_Carrion Comfort_, by Dan Simmons has this, too. It's slightly
different in that in that novel *both* sides used living pieces that were
killed when taken. (There are two such scenes. The second has a diagram;
it's the endgame of the first Fischer-Spassky match game. The annoying 
part is that Simmons claims that Black has a winning advantage, when 
actually he's blundered a Bishop and is fighting for a draw.)

David Goldfarb   (Insert standard disclaimer)
"A pentagram approaches a circle for sufficiently large values of five."
			     -- Rick Cook