This is part of this week's Freaky Friday contest by @pete.
For many years, man has tried to experiment with the idea of primates being able to do the same things we humans do. Some believe primates are even smarter than humans. Well, today I learned who was truly the dominant species.
I was in my chess match with my opponent named Oliver. Oliver was a very cautious chess player; he never was one for rash decisions. Before me, he managed to best even the grandmaster chess players (I even heard a rumor that he beat at least three powerful supercomputers, and that he beat one of them in just minutes, but those claims haven't been either proven or debunked). I wasn't concerned one bit; rumors of some great player being beaten never scared me one bit. I had beaten a few grandmasters in my time, but this was a match that would be written in the history books. How? Well, just read and find out. :)
It was at London, England when Oliver and I had our chess match. It was in the finals of the annual chess tournament, and both of us played well against a variety of opponents. Oliver and I both won against masters and grandmasters from all corners of the globe, and now we were going head to head. It was like two gunslingers in a Old West showdown, two generals planning to battle each other in a deciding war, and two samurai warriors preparing to deliver the slash that will leave only one of them standing. I knew that I probably had a good many odds against me, but I wasn't interested in fame or fortune. Rather, I was interested in answering the ultimate question: which of us the most superior?
The match started at 1:00 PM, right after lunch. Oliver was to make the first move, and he had his hand on his chin. He probably was thinking of what piece to move. Any casual person would lose patience and say “Get on with it already!” But not me; I knew the game of chess all too well. I let Oliver take all the time he would wish. Thirty minutes later, he moved one of his pawn up one space. It was my turn; like Oliver I too spent time thinking. You see, the game of chess is not for those who want to make hasty decisions, look for simple solutions, or generally impatient people. A chess player must have the mind of a strategist; he or she must decide how to move, when to move, what to move, and where to move a piece. But it is not just about moving one piece from one space to the next in the hopes of a checkmate. You must know all about your opponent. You must learn of his strategies, exploit his weaknesses, appraise his strengths, discover his greatest hopes, exploit his greatest fears, and (above all else) know how to defeat him. It is not enough to know the pieces and what they do; you must focus on your opponent and watch what he/she does. Sooner or later, you may find a slip.
Anyways, I decided to move my leftmost pawn up two spaces. Oliver and I spent at least 5 hours setting up the perimeters of our playing field. I decided to castle my king, and he had a few of my pawns cornered. I lost half of all my pawns, but managed to take half of his as well as one of his knights. Oliver knew I wasn't going to let down easily though, and he seemed well prepared for that. I figured he would; any chess player always prepares for the expected AND unexpected. So, Oliver decided to do what I did not expect him to do; he castled his king (I was expecting him to move his knight to take one of my pawns). For the first time, I was somewhat taken aback. So, I took advantage of that unexpected move and moved my bishop to take the knight I expected him to move. Oliver immediately took notice, as if he knew all along and was just toying me to see how I would react to unpredictability. Whether he knew all along or not, I was only getting started. I started to change up the strategy; I decided not to use any previously used strategies and simply make it up as I go. Over the course of another 8 hours (with some breaks in between), Oliver and I played a game of complete unpredictability. But while I managed to take many of his pieces, he took many of mine. He especially made great use of the rooks; the most dangerous piece in chess (in my opinion).
It finally came down to this; I only had a bishop, queen, king, and two pawns left. Oliver had his king, two pawns, and a rook left. Oliver had me in check, so I had to come up with a way out. If I made one wrong move, he would have had me in a checkmate. So, I thought as long and hard as I could (someone said I took three whole hours). Then I decided to move my queen several spaces, where Oliver would then use his rook to take it. Some might think it was foolish to move a piece so that it could be capture, but here is the clever part; immediately after that, I moved the bishop to take the deadly rook. Now Oliver was in check, and for the first time he didn't know what to do. He decided to just move any piece; he moved the king the a spot on the right. That move would be his last....I moved the bishop and finally had him at checkmate. The audience roared with applause soon after, and Oliver had his head down in defeat. One might expect him to throw a temper tantrum or doing something violent, but he didn't. Instead, he just simply walked back to his trainer and teacher, who took him back to the car. It was incredible; a human chess master beating a chimpanzee chess master! And beating one who had beaten supercomputers at that. Of course, part of me felt sorry for Oliver and hoped he would recover from defeat. One thing for certain, though, I had shown everyone that day who was truly the dominant species on Earth.
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