Chess Game - Snippet

Chess Game - Snippet

A Chapter by Meeks
"

The computer plays a game with its creator

"

The board was simple. Eight by eight, the demarcation between each tile visible through my camera. The pieces were lined up in a little formation resembling a triangle, though concentrated on the left side on the board. And his. His pieces were everywhere they shouldn’t be in this situation.

“You can move the B6 Pawn to B7,” I tell him, but he doesn’t move. “That would sidestep my bishop and open - .” He holds his hand up, his palm flat, and I stop. I watch his eyes as they wander across the board again.

Sanders lifts his hand, his fingers reaching for a piece but hesitating. The hand stops in midair, then finally goes for the pawn I specified. He picks it up, kind of twirls it in midair, and I catch an anxious glance at my screen as he tries to figure me out. I minimize the brightness, and he smiles.

He drops the pawn right back down on the tile. Instead he finds the knight piece, and quickly hops a row of pawns to the side.

“According to the rules of chess, if one picks up a piece one has to move it,” I remind him.

“It’s your fault, you messed me up with your advice,” he responds in a familiar, deep and gruff voice.

I move the bulky, crane-like device until it’s perfectly above my bishop, lowering down a claw to grab the tapered head of the piece, and slowly moving it towards the little white pawn on B6. Sanders removes the pawn for me, and I place my bishop in its place.

“What emotion led you to dis-follow my advice?” I question. He doesn’t look up, focusing on the ever-thinning white formation. I look at him for a minute, trying to figure out what move he’ll make.

“Can you guess?” he asks. I look at his face, squinched into a frown I recognized as deep concentration.

“Fear,” I venture. He picks up another knight and swiftly knocks my bishop off the board before responding. “More like anxiety. I thought you were hinting me wrong, to help you beat me.”

“So fear. Fear of deception,” I decide, slowly moving my pistons and latching the claws around my queen, which is perfectly positioned to give me a range of attack to almost every important spot on the board. I don’t bother hauling the piece up, and knock it straight into the knight on G6. The piece stumbles and falls, and Sanders quickly picks it up.

“In a way. But a more specialized form of fear,” he says. I let the claw go loose, and the queen proudly knocks against the wood board on the tile she’d captured. “You shouldn’t implement emotions into a logical puzzle,” I advise.

“You should try to implement emotions into a logical puzzle,” he responds, and my analysis goes blank. I look over the text myself, but it seems to be meaningless. What is he going for?

“Could you expand on that?” I ask, and watch him lift his gaze to my video camera.

“Do you know what the purpose of chess is?” he asks.

“Of course. To immobilize and threaten the king,” I respond quickly. “You have taught me this long ago.”

“Is it that simple thought? No, not with a human being,” he decides. I look at him blankly.

“Could you expand on that?”

“I could. I doubt you’ll understand,” he says. His hand moves, hovering above a rook for a short second, and then he rests it again to think more. I wait for him to reply, and am not surprised when he does. “What happens after a game?”

“After a game of chess, each player is declared as either better, worse, or equal in terms of long-term logical planning,” I pause, but he doesn’t stop me. Must not be what he’s looking for. “And then normal activity resumes.”

“No, only you resume normal activity. What does a human do after a game?” he says. His hand reaches quickly for the rook and slides him along the back row. “Your move.”

I take in the situation. His king is left completely exposed because the rook that was there is gone now. I quickly use my claw to lift the queen into a better position for a final strike.

“The human cleans up after a game of chess,” I tell him, and he smiles. Yes, he does clean up, but only because his hands are quicker and more nimble than my robotic claw.

“The problem with humans is that we are changed, physically, by every single event that happens to us. You, you just store the video log somewhere in your memory and make a few tweaks to the program before ending it.”

“Is there a better way to do it?” I ask.

“Yes. There is. And I’m sorry I thought of it so late,” he says, his fingers pushing up a pawn so as to totally destroy my planning. “You could’ve been so much better.”

“Can you expand on that?”

He looks at my camera, and for the first time do I notice a slight wrinkle in his brow, a slight droop in his eyes, as if he was tired. “I knew you wouldn’t understand,” he decided, and pointed back at the board. “Your move.”

“Still thinking,” I tell him, and focus in on the small wooden pieces. That pawn really did block anything I was going to try. Hmm, this might take a while, but if I moved this way… my claw reaches for the rook, and drags it over to a better tile. “Can you continue explaining?”

“Hmm, what? Oh, very well,” he stumbles, obviously lost in thought. “What are we doing right now?”

“Playing chess,” I reply. “Have you forgotten?”

“No, but what else are we doing? Right this moment, we aren’t just playing chess,” he decides, and reaches out for a piece. Hesitating.

“We are also conversing,” I respond. “About chess.”

“Yet we both know at this point that you are going to win. Am I correct?” he asks, his hand floating above a pawn, waiting for me to answer.

“Unless you surprise me, then yes,” I answer. Somehow he makes up his mind, and quickly pushes the pawn up two spaces. I take in the situation with a single glance.

“So why are we playing? If we both know the unavoidable outcome of the game, why continue? It’s a waste of my time, probably of yours as well,” he stares into my camera, and I get the feeling that he wants to see something beside the shimmering blue light, regularly beeping on the side of the device. “You know why? Because it gives us time to talk.”

“Of course,” I respond, not really understanding anything of what he said.

“So what is the goal of chess for humans?” he asks me again. I look at the board, and lower the claw down onto a bishop, latching around it and hauling it back up so it dangles above the board.

“Humans try to capture the king, just like I do,” I decide, and position my bishop right above the annoying little pawn from a few moves before. Sanders removes the piece as I lower it down.

“Hmm, let me rephrase that. Why do humans play chess?” he asks, placing the pawn off to the side of the board.

I check my memory again, just to make sure. “You mentioned this before: humans play chess to converse.”

“Wrong. Only I have played chess to talk only this one time. There’s a pattern here. You’re good at patterns, aren’t you?” he decides, and I take another look at the board, pushing my programs to connect conversation with anything else.

He waits, looking at the board until he finally moves the king a space towards the left, towards the bulk of his pieces. A stupid move, doing nothing to block my attack.

“A pattern?” I ask, and lower the claw to grab onto my queen. “Could you expand on that?”

“For humans, the most important piece during chess isn’t the king,” he says, watching as the contraption pulls my queen towards another of his pawns, but doesn’t bother removing it until the two pieces click together. Sanders eyes me hesitantly, but I wait for him to continue. “It’s the other person facing you, the opponent.”

“Checkmate,’ I say, and he glances at the board in resignation.




© 2015 Meeks



Author's Note

Meeks
IF YOU CAN: please mention your favorite/easiest to read part, and the worst, or hardest to read part.

This part is the result of a re-organization of my entire novella. This will probably be going near the beginning, and will result from a conversation the program has with the kid.

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

I haven't read many poems recently on chess, but there is a long history between chess and poetry up until the 1970's when electronic chess games dehumanised the competition. But your version is not only intriguing it is captivating, both mentally and physically with hand and facial coordination so as to give no tells a high-resolution camera would pick up. But it still comes down to your statement "you just store the video log somewhere in your memory and make a few tweaks to the program" it is the unpredictability of being human that should always keep us ahead of any mechanical man. This was outstanding, I not only read it I feel as if I took an active role in it. One of the best poems I have read all year and I want to thank you for allowing me the pleasure of reading it. Standing Ovation! Five out of five Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

I know this is part of a story but it read like poetry and I valued it as such :~)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Meeks

1 Year Ago

Thanks for not getting what I was going after too. I know what the scene is missing now.
;)
Bear

1 Year Ago

I tried to read the previous chapter but it isn't there so I enjoyed it as a stand-alone work even t.. read more



Reviews

That is good, great concept of the game, the building anxiety of Saunders and the flow of the conversation was very enlightening, and real

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is what I love about this story, the comparison of humans and robots. I really enjoyed this chapter, great job!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


I haven't read many poems recently on chess, but there is a long history between chess and poetry up until the 1970's when electronic chess games dehumanised the competition. But your version is not only intriguing it is captivating, both mentally and physically with hand and facial coordination so as to give no tells a high-resolution camera would pick up. But it still comes down to your statement "you just store the video log somewhere in your memory and make a few tweaks to the program" it is the unpredictability of being human that should always keep us ahead of any mechanical man. This was outstanding, I not only read it I feel as if I took an active role in it. One of the best poems I have read all year and I want to thank you for allowing me the pleasure of reading it. Standing Ovation! Five out of five Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

I know this is part of a story but it read like poetry and I valued it as such :~)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Meeks

1 Year Ago

Thanks for not getting what I was going after too. I know what the scene is missing now.
;)
Bear

1 Year Ago

I tried to read the previous chapter but it isn't there so I enjoyed it as a stand-alone work even t.. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

252 Views
3 Reviews
Rating
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on December 26, 2015
Last Updated on December 29, 2015


Author

Meeks
Meeks

Poland



About
Hey guys! I'm a sixteen year old writer trying desperately to make something publish-worthy. In the meantime, I hand out useful critiques and comments. Currently trying to work on something diffe.. more..

Writing
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Meeks


There Was There Was

A Book by Meeks