Chess City - A New Novel By Ayaan Chettiar

Chess City – Chapter 1

The game of chess was invented many centuries ago, and continues to be played widely across the globe. Dominated by players from the Soviet Union, ‘The Royal Game’ is described as one of intellect and psychology. There is far more to this sport than meets the eye.

Even amateurs have begun to slowly improve in the game, with many promising players breaking into the world stage. Now that technology is in full fledge, the popularity of the game is growing even more in the digital world.

But life exists, even within the minute screen of a cell phone, inside one of the many applications there are. And that is the world of Chess Computers: Chess City…

A paradise of chess intellect. A city filled with bots of all levels, from the lowly beginner bots to the highly experienced experts. Of course, the strongest computers rule over the land from the root of their kingdom, The Engine Empire. The home of the most advanced chess bots in history. The legendary Houdini, the fantastic Komodo, the modern LC Zero, all reside within The Empire’s grand walls. And so does their leader : Emperor Stockfish.

But now, let’s take a break from this narration, and head off to a decorated villa at the side of Rook Road in Chess City. The home of the worst chess bot there was… Martin.

“Ha ha. Checkmate.” said Aron, cap turing the pawn on f7.

“Not yet.” said Martin, with a sip of his coffee. He moved his king one step to the right.

Aron moved one of his flank pawns with a grin. “I find pawns very intriguing. Fun to move.”

Martin scratched his beard, trying to think of a move. He instinctively moved his knight, but put it on the wrong square.

“Checkmate!” said Aron, capturing the poor knight, who had no supporters. “I win again. Good game, Martin.”

Martin graciously shook hands with his friend, before retreating to his coffee, and a newspaper, as Aron took leave of the house. The Chess City Championship was coming up; if he worked hard, he might do well in it.

It wasn’t altogether Martin’s fault about his chess skills. He’d been built that way. Despite all his attempts to grow better, he lost. Terribly. To Emir, to Aron, to Sven, to Jimmy. Not to mention that match against Nelson. (It was a forgettable one… Martin lost 100-nil.)

But maybe there was a glimmer of hope. He folded his newspaper, took a long sip of his coffee, and wore his best coat. There was a match going on- Li vs. Oscar. He was heading to see it.

In the real world, Chess.Com CEO Daniel Rensch had recently released a string of cat bots into Chess City. Including Scaredy Cat, Angry Cat, Mr. Grumpers and the iconic Catspurrov, they were poring over the layout of the fifth and final inclusion in the series of Cat Bots, meant to be the strongest of them.

However, the decision was not to be theirs.

Maxwell Imafo was closing watching the new entries in the app. Inside up burbled several layers of pure rage and hatred towards Chess. Com, and Rensch in particular.

He had been the leader of the team working on the computers; he himself had created the layout of every single bot on the page. Until a few months ago, where Chess.Com had fired him.

Now, only fury and bitterness urged him to continue on. While designing the various bots, he had worked a magic into the system. While it was in production, Imafo was to get a shock. For his analysis revealed the existence of a world within the computer page: Chess City.

He kept the discovery to himself, and continued his work. Before long, the computers were released and instantly became a major hit across the chess world. But Imafo was a con man: his superior technological skills, and desire for more, drove him into becoming a notorious hacker. When news of this reached Rensch, Imafo was fired on the spot. The police were contacted, but Maxwell fled the scene. Disappeared from the public. Until now.

“When I release the bot into Chess.Com, Rensch will know it was a mistake firing me. Because she will destroy the world of bots, and everyone will know my name. Maxwell Imafo: The Creator.” he mumbled to himself.

His fingers reached for the button, and slowly hit it. The final cat bot flew into the system. Imafo smiled. The damage was done. Now all he could do… was watch.

Ayaan Chettiar

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