CHECKMATE

The kid moved his white pawn to e4, Eddie matched him, moving his black pawn to e5. White King’s knight to f3. Black Queen’s knight to c6. Eddie sat back. He was on comfortable ground playing the King’s knight opening. He didn’t want to beat the kid too quickly; he would play along for a bit.

Among the commuters and tourists in Union Square, the rows of fold-up tables sat, each with chess games at various stages. Eddie had been coming here for over a month now, since he’d lost his job. Soon he’d have to find work to pay the bills. Eventually he would have to tell his wife.

The young boy leaned forward. He moved his pawn to g3.

‘The Konstantinopolsky Opening,’ the boy said. ‘You know it?’

Eddie blinked. Five minutes later it was all over. The boy called ‘checkmate’ and Eddie’s King fell. The boy’s mother took his hand and led him off.

The next day Eddie passed by the chess tables and headed into the Union Square Job Center.


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Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, in around 150 words based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information visit HERE.

The Konstantinopolsky Opening: wikipedia.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

44 responses to “CHECKMATE”

    1. Many thanks Henrietta 🙂

      Like

  1. Ha ha — good lesson, there. Never underestimate your opponent. Or yourself. Nicely played, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Something like that! Thanks Joy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not with any great skill, just the basics 🙂

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      1. I was just curious. I always feel a bit tentative when I write on a topic I’m not hugely familiar with.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s what Google and Wikipedia were invented for!

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  2. How embarassing to be beat by a little kid. Poor Eddie. At least he can look for a job to fill his time! Great story, Iain! Thanks for the photo prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks PJ. Some kids have the ability to be chess geniuses! Thanks for using my photo – hope it wasn’t that that caused WordPress to malfunction!

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      1. I doubt that it was your photo. I have no idea what made WP malfunction. I finally had to recreate the challenge again and resend it. It worked the next day. So whatever problems they were having must have been on the day I tried to publish it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for redoing all that work!

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          1. LOL! Anything to make you guys happy! Haha! Thank you for thanking me Iain!

            Liked by 2 people

  3. Chess I once loved to play it, but this kid would have blown me out of the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to play as an amateur, bit once you get into the serious strategies it gets very difficult!

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  4. A good one! The kid pushed Eddie in the right direction 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your story Iain! Tough luck, Eddie. Commiserations.

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  6. Well done Iain enjoyed your take..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A very well written story, Iain. I’m glad to meet another kid with the ‘nous’ for board games! And he certainly did Eddie a favour in the long run. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Eddie has learned his lesson! Thanks Millie 🙂

      Like

  8. Nice, I am glad he got off his ass to go and do something about his situation. Thank you for the picture Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy, you’re welcome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for the photo this week. I am horrible at Chess and remembering rules and even google and wikipedia didn’t help me. Even with little understanding of the game, your story was easy to comprehend. I really like the voice here and how the narrative moves along with the game until Eddie’s epiphany at the end. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, glad the photo has inspired some great stories. I only know the basics of chess but it is a fascinating game.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. oh and thanks for clarifying – I thought that was 14th Street in the photo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From a trip to New York a couple of years ago, one of many memorable areas of Manhattan 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew up in NY but have been out of city for 6 years –
        miss it so much

        Liked by 1 person

  11. wonderful lessons to be learnt here and I hope your man in the story does just that, can’t win in life without being consistent and thats what chess is, consistently playing and getting better at the strategy. Well thats what I got from your story, good writing as always, a joy to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you got that from my effort, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Maybe losing was just the push Eddie needed to back into the work force. I love how you started out with basics of the chess game. Enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Ameena, I think it will help Eddie in the long run 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Enjoyed this a lot. Never underestimate a young mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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