The Last Match

Published: Sep 10, 2020

The piece moved from A2 to A4, a rook, sometimes called a juicer. The dark-stained wood aimed straight at the gloss covered maple king. Jeffry was sweating, wiped his brow with a red handkerchief. The computer was making easy work of him in this game, but the match was 26 against 11. He kept playing over and over.

The hologram pieces were hazy at times, but Jeffry had only known them this way. After each game he told the computer to increase the difficulty. He was not a Grandmaster but he knew his way around the board, how the pieces moved, the 64 squares of battle. Sometimes he made up stories with the king and queen or the knights and bishops as he moved them about their world.

"Checkmate," the speakers said. The game was over.

Jeffry studied the board and wondered why he loved the torture of losing so much. He thought about the last few moves for a moment longer.

"Level up, and play again," he said. "Pawn E4."