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A Tale for a Chess Variant.

It was the strangest sensation. It didn’t felt like a dream, or a hallucination. I could feel the blistering rays of the sun burning my white, as the belly of a fish, skin.

Far I saw what looked like two persons (herders?) sitting under the sun, playing or eating in these badlands. So, I came closer to them. When I got close enough I noticed that they were playing some kind of chess.

-Good day. –I said. –Can you tell me where I am?
-Israel. –Said the man at my left.
-Israel is kind of big, is like to say: “you’re in the Amazon”, so, where exactly am I?
-Har Meggido. –Said the man at my right.
-Har Meggido? As in…
-Yes. -Interrupted the man in my left.
-And you are… -I asked afraid and knowing the answer.
-Yes, we are. -Said the man in right.

There’s no sensation to describe what I felt in that moment. Fear, excitement, joy, sorrow… Every emotion altogether at the very same time!

-And, what are you doing here? – I asked.
-Playing the Final Battle. –Said the man in my left.
-The world is ending?! Right now?! – I asked in panic and thinking about my loved ones.
-No moron! The world is ending since the beginning! In great wars, small conflicts, bar fights, its called entropy didn’t you know it? –Said the man in my left.
-And, what am I doing here?
-You are a witness. -Said the man in my right.
-Ok. Why me? I don’t believe in either you two, and nobody will believe me.
-Because you once worshiped one of us at a time, both of us at the same time and now, as you said, don’t worship either of us. And, yes, they will. –Replied the man at my right. –You’re not the only one.
-Really and when the others will come?
-They’re already here. –Said the man at my left. –But only we can see you all, you all see us as you wish.
-Really? So I wished to be under this burning sun?
-No. –Explained the man at my right. –They are all under the same sun as you, but they see us in a different manner.
-As Biblical figures, as lords with pompous clothing and chairs. You see us as bikers with stones and this lousy board and pieces! –Added the man at my left.

At this time I had an awesome vision! The game was changing just before my eyes! The pieces that they picked up and the board was not the same when they landed the piece on the board! Everything was in a continual change, from FIDE to Shogi, to Xian Qi, Tamerlane, you name it! There were even variants that I never had heard or even dreamed about, as a spherical variant… My mind was swarming with those marvels. I was doing my best to keep all those games in my mind, but was no avail… I only was able to memorize a single one.

And when I woke up in with the dawn, covered in sun burns, I feverish draw the game as it was leaving my mind.

Believe me! There were others! I ask all of then to show themselves and tell the tale.

Who knows what game they had in mind?

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By Claudio Martins Jaguaribe.
Web page created: 2010-08-13. Web page last updated: 2010-08-19