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Checkmate

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“You’re go,” said black. White glanced up, nodded. Sweat trickled down his face. They were at a chess tournament. People from all over the neighbourhood came out. Teens, adults, Elders, there was no age limit. These two fellows were about 25, competing for the grand prize totalling 10,000 dollars. The biggest prize yet, and both players were fighting hard to get it. White could defiantly notice that black was getting impatient with the how slowly white planned his strategy.
“Can you hurry up?” Black asked.
“This is a chess tournament my man,” he chuckled. “Time is as involved in this game as strategy.”
“I don’t see your point.”
“It takes time to think of a strategy,” white replied with another brief chuckle.
“We’re going to be here all day; I’ve got some things I still need to do.” White looked up from the board, and into his opponents eyes. He grinned, “Then why have you come to play in a chess tournament?”
Black thought for a second.
“You’re right,” he replied. He thought over the question again and came to the realization that his opponent had a good point. Chess was a slow, strategy game. A game for those who love thinking. Maybe it was just him who thought Chess was a fun game, and wouldn’t take hours to play. Then again there were tournaments which held timed games. Twenty minutes max. Even each move was timed. That would have been a better choice, thought black. Beats playing ridiculously long games.
White moved his knight to location f5. If you imagine the board as an 8by8 grid, then imagine that the columns are letters and the rows are numbers, you’ll find that the knight was placed closer to the top right of his opponents territory. Three columns from the right, four rows down specifically.
Black moved his pawn up one space diagonally beside the knight, g6, hopefully giving white no choice but to retreat his knight. If he didn’t, then he’d lose his knight for no apparent reason.
“Have you played chess much?” white asked.
“A bit,” black replied. He looked at his opponent, and then noticed a ring on his opponents’ left hand. After playing chess for an hour, he just noticed it.
White moved as black spoke, “Are you a Christian?” White looked up and grinned again.
“Yes I am. I take it you saw the ring?”
“I just noticed it yes.”
“Yup. I got it the day I gave my life to Jesus.” Both players now took their minds and eyes off the game of chess.
“I’ve always thought Christians were hypocritical.”
“Lots of them are.” A pause.
“I hope you don’t mind me asking you this, but why would you give your life to some invisible person?” White knew exactly why his opponent would ask that question. There were many unbelievers who ask that question. He himself included.
“I’ve felt His presence. I’ve been in many experiences, some good, some bad and even in the most hardest of time I’ve still kept my faith and felt the presence of God.” Black shifted himself into a more comfortable position, looked down at the game and made his move. White continued, “Faith is something very current and very strong in my life and God has never let me go.”
“So? Give me one reason, any reason that I should believe in a God or in a Saviour?”
“Well, I could tell you a story that my dad always brought up with the family?” White was interested in sharing with black anything that had to do with Christianity. “Every time he brings it up, I always have the sense of amazement, and the understanding that there is a God.”
White looked back down at the table. He saw the move that black made earlier, and then moved his queen across the board putting black in check, diagonally. Black was very confused about the move.
“There were 4 people who were in a gang together. Their names were Jason Hill, Rick Savery, Michael Dell and Gordon Tave.”



* * * * * * * *

Jason Hill peered out of the alley way in downtown Vancouver. Cars raced by, and the streets were filled with pedestrians. The other three members of the gang were about 10 feet away from Jason, waiting for an update He would give them. They were waiting for a man known by Max Barley. The gang recently found out that Max Barley went on the streets preaching the great news of Jesus Christ. He wanted to share with the world the Jesus is the Lord and that He is coming back. The gang themselves despised the man for that very reason and wanted to kill him. Now the four waited for him to come down their street.
It was about 2 in the afternoon and Max Barley usually started at about 10 after. Jason walked back to the rest of the gang.
“He should be coming pretty soon,” Jason said.
“I know,” Gordon Tave replied. He was their gang leader. “Remember the plan though. We see him, we take him and we beat him up. I want to see if he will change his mind knowing that death awaits him if he doesn’t.”
None of the three really knew anything about the Bible. They didn’t hear much of Jesus or God. But they didn’t want to. They wanted to live their life their own way. They didn’t care.
Jason heard a voice in the distance, “Our life means something!” the person said. He was getting closer.
“Looks like he’s here,” Rick Savery said. The gang walked casually down the alley way closer to the road.
“I want all of you to know that Jesus Loves all of you!” The gang raced up and took Max. There were some screams from people on the streets. That didn’t stop the gang. All four grabbed a leg or arm and ran as far as they could in the alley way, through other small alley ways until they felt like no one saw them go into a different alley. They dropped Max.
Michael Dell, a big guy, swung at him first, right to the head. Max couldn’t defend himself.
“Get off me!” Max yelled.
“Don’t yell Max.” Michael said, “You are going to die, don’t make it any quicker.”
“Why are you guys doing this?” Max asked. He was still on the ground, his nose bleeding.
“We want to prove a point. Are you going to deny God and live? Or are you going to die believing in Him?”
“You and I both know that answer,” Max replied. He tried to get up but was again knocked back down by a powerful kick given by Rick.
“I believe in God,” Max continued. “And each of you has a purpose. God has a much bigger plan for all of you.” There were some more beatings.
“I’ll give you 10 seconds to choose which path, or I am going to ask Jason to pull out his gun and shoot you.” Max looked at Jason. Jason seemed to be having a harder time coping with this. He thought he’d be able to handle it. Then again he was a new recruit to the gang.
“Jason,” Max said. “Don’t do this. You know deep inside that your life is a gift from God. Search your heart. Ask yourself ‘Why am I here?’ Because you certainly aren’t an accident. None of you are,” His eyes glanced around to the other men.
“Pull out your gun Jason.” Jason struggled with that but managed to. “Point it at Max.” Jason saw in Max’s eyes, the gentle, loving, and caring person he seemed to be.
Gordon walked to Jason and took his gun. Jason was wasting time, time that Gordon really didn’t want to be wasted because they knew cops would be showing up all over in a mature of minutes.
Jason saw Max praying.
“Father, I love you. Help these young men.” Gordon pressed the trigger.

* * * * * * * *
White looked at his opponent. His opponent now very confused, not only by the white’s move but with the story.
“Any reason why Jason never shot Max?”
“Good question, I was getting to that. He became a Christian. He heard what Max had said and it really got into Jason’s heart.”
“Just that quick?.”
“Yes, just that quick. It’s not hard to get saved. All you have to do is ask. Believe in your heart that Jesus died for you, that He is the true Lord. There is no burden. Depsite the fact that the story is sad, there is some real power to it. A man gave his life believing in God. Believing that Jesus was his Lord.”
“It is sad, but you want to know what else is sad? Me taking your queen with my rook. I guess you didn’t noticed, but you placed your queen were it is has given me the opportunity to take it with my rook, unharmed. Though I’m curious as to why? I’m quite confused.”
White smiled. He looked at the chess board and saw the pieces all lined up the way he wanted it. The queen was at a8 and his opponents rook was at h8. His opponents King was at c6 in check. Everything was the way he wanted it. Then black took his rook from h8 and killed off white’s queen.
“A Chess player never reveals his strategy.”
Black laughed, “Where was the strategy in that?” White then took his rook from location h1 and brought it down to the same line as his opponents king was on, c6. With that, the King couldn’t move forward because blacks own pawns were blocking it, even diagonally. He also couldn’t go backwards because of white’s bishop guarding b8, c7, and that whole diagonal line. And he couldn’t move to the left because of white’s second rook guarding that whole column.
“Checkmate,” said white. Black looked at every possible move he could do but all was no good. The game was over. White then continued, “Life is way too short to live for yourself. I’m not talking about you personally; I’m talking about the human life itself. There is more to this life then people really do realize. We have purpose. If you really think about it, people are too consumed about their own pride and the now, instead of the future and what’s going to happen when they die. I mean take this chess game for example. I purposely put my queen at that location because then you’d get distracted and not see that I was able to put you in checkmate using my rook. There is an end to this life. The world has been brainwashing people with all these new technologies and all of the new “things” that keep people occupied and wanting more, wasting valuable life. They aren’t seeing the big picture because they are too consumed about what the world is offering. I mean look at the new iPods and the Ipads and the new products and everyone saying ‘this is the best, get it now!’ while in the next 10 years those products will be useless and boring. Nothing that the world makes truly ever satisfies the people. But God does. Jesus does.”
Black listened. He seemed very intrigued and wanted more.
“I believe with all my heart that there is a God and that life isn’t just simply living on the earth then dying. There is an afterlife, there is a God and I know He loves you. I believe that you can change your life right now. Jesus is waiting for you. He’s been waiting for you your whole life. Ask Him, He will show you He’s real.” Black seemed a bit moved by what he was telling him. White stood up, and Black followed. White stuck his hand out and said, “Good game.”
“Good game,” came black’s reply. As white grabbed his coat black asked, “What’s your name?”
“Jason Hill.”





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

The good: If you were here in person, you would be witnessing my speechless face.  This was absolutely amazing.  The way you tied in chess with life and faith was inspiring.  The whole piece was very moving, especially the twist at the end where he is Jason.  Just, wow.  You have real talent!

The bad: I can't really think of anything, but if you had to change something, I would suggest taking a bit of the technical chess talk out, as it can "clutter" the story ... (more »)

 
Kyle P. replied...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 8:41 pm
Thank you :) that was real encouraging! and yeah, i can definatly see how that could "clutter." :) thanks again!
 
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