Love in the time of Chess

The clock. Allan doesn’t look at the clock. He doesn’t dare to, doesn’t need to. He knows how much time he has left. Three minutes, or something in that vicinity. Allan doesn’t look at Michael, either. He can’t bear to look at that face, proud of his victory, yet with pity for Allan’s distress. The pity is the worst. If only he KNEW.

Pawn to C4. Queen to C4.

“Check.”

 

The clock. Allan doesn’t look at the clock. He doesn’t dare to, doesn’t need to. He knows how much time is left. Three hours, or something in that vicinity. Allan doesn’t look at his mother, either. He can’t bare to look at that face, proud of her son, yet with pity for Allan’s loss. The pride is the worst. If only she could KNOW. Know about Allan’s soul….

“Tell me, Allan, how come a handsome, bright boy like you hasn’t found a girl yet?”
…mate.
Love in the time of Chess is a scenario about three young chess ingenues. Famous and admired among their colleagues in the chess circuit, they each have their demons to battle. For each, their personal lives have turned into chess matches far more challenging than any they have any played against each other.
The game uses an inventive chess mechanic to tell stories of fear, humiliation, deceit and lives on the brink of ruin. Three of you will take on the role of the three chess players, while the remaining two will take on the role of the two powers that battle for the lives of the three young men, threatening to rend them to pieces in the process.
Another scenario played at FictioVal, a series of fictional scenarios started with a story of a kindergarten where something insidious is going on. I guess this game started out with the soccer fan scenario from last year’s Fastaval: how do you tell a story of the same sort based around chess? Of course this isn’t about the fans of chess, but instead about young people moving into the international echelons of the game. The idea of course had a lot in common with the musical, Chess, though I tried to avoid getting too close to that story. Instead, I see this scenario as drawing upon the mechanic used in Evenstars by Mikkel Bækgaard and others of having two players play opposing forces pulling in the other players from opposing sides. I guess I figure these two powers are conformity and rebellion, the former being synonymous with strangulation, the latter with (self)destruction. As such, both forces lead only to the ruin, either mental, social or physical, of the character.
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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kristo on February 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Hej Elias

    Spændende idé. En hurtig kommentar, hvis du overvejer at bruge “polspillere” skal du hellere kigge på Guernica (som var scenariet som introducerede teknikken) eller Kreativ Klasse begge af Klaus Meier Olsen. Begge scenarier bruger teknikken mere effektivt end Aftenstjerner, som imho havde nogle klare balanceproblemer netop mellem polerne.

    Mvh
    Kristoffer

    Reply

  2. Posted by Elias Helfer on February 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Hej Kristoffer,

    Ja, jeg ved godt at de to også bruger det – dem kender jeg bare ikke særlig godt. Jeg har kun oplevet metoden i Aftenstjerner, så det er derfor jeg refererer til det.

    Og så er det her først og fremmest et tankeeksperiment – hvis jeg skulle skrive det her scenarie, ville jeg helt sikkert læse Guernica, og måske spille et eller begge de to scenarier.

    Reply

  3. Posted by kristo on February 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Gør det om alle omstændigheder 🙂 Det er to fremragnede scenarier.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Elias Helfer on February 29, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Jeg læste Kreativ Klasse i sin tid. Jeg kunne godt se at der er kvaliteter i det, men jeg tror ikke lige jeg var målgruppen.

    Guernica må jeg læse.

    Reply

  5. […] Like Kthulhu Kindergarden (kiddie investigators in an Arkham daycare facility). Or how about Love in the time of Chess, a sad game of chess prodigies using chess as a […]

    Reply

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