A white castle was hurled off the board by the black queen and the white king was mated four moves later. As the pieces regained their places Sebastian shouted “Now” and they ran across the board. They almost made it, but Sebastian was tripped up by the bishop’s mitre. The bishop smashed the mitre into the board trying to pin him down, but Sebastian crawled close to the queen. He stood on a narrow lip on the base and thought he was safe. However, the bishop’s pawn moved out two spaces and the queen was on the move diagonally. Sebastian was able to move slightly around the lip of the piece as the queen moved forwards, backwards, sideways, smashing a pawn and then a castle. Suddenly she came under attack by a white knight, whose sword caused sparks to fly. The queen fell and rolled off the board. Luckily Sebastian had managed to leap off as she fell and just avoided the horse’s hoof that came swinging his way.
“Sebastian are you OK,” said Esme, “talk to me love”.
“I’m fine Esme – watch out the queen’s coming back”.
They jumped clear as the black queen rolled back to her position to start a new game.
“Let’s look at the noughts and crosses”.
The game was transposed over the chessboard but this time the noughts had won. Again the instructions were about finding the winning move. The clashing of metal on stone began again and pieces started to be thrown off the board.
“It has to be either this top right nought or the bottom left one” said Sebastian looking over his shoulder as a black bishop was sent off the board by a white castle.
“Look at the way it’s drawn though, Sebastian, if this is supposed to be giving us a clue then I am guessing the winning move has to be associated with a particular piece on a particular square at the start of the game – in which case the winning move must be the top right nought”.
“Because the bottom left nought is over a square that’s empty at the start of the game,” said Sebastian, “that’s excellent Esme”.
“If you look at the way it’s drawn this noughts and crosses game must be over one corner of the chessboard otherwise the winning move could mean up to six different pieces”.
“As it is it’s one of two pieces – if the noughts and crosses game is in the top left of the chessboard then it’s the black bishop, the one who tried to kill me, or if it’s top right then it’s the black castle on the other side of the board”.
They groaned at the thought of crossing the board again – as it to emphasise the danger a black knight struck down a white pawn and sent it careering off the board.
“You know Sebastian, I don’t think it is the black bishop, it’s moving around even now, whereas that black castle hasn’t moved”.
They watched another game and the castle stayed rooted to its position.
“So that’s our piece then” said Sebastian, “just for a change let’s run behind the white pawns this time and watch out for the bishops, they can be nasty. Let’s take out the flashlight and spyglass just to help ward off any blows”.