Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Checkmate: The Greatest Upset In PGS Chess History

by Henry Cunnison and Callum Cross


Now relegated to the second greatest chess game of all time
(from: 'The Seventh Seal' directed by Ingmar Bergman)
Source: Daily Telegraph

At lunch time, on Thursday, 10th January, the unimaginable happened.
The unbeatable chess hero, Reuben John Francis lots-of-other-names McCardle, was defeated.
This is the kind of sporting event that will be looked back on in 50 years’ time. Thus, it is important to record the events of the greatest upset in PGS history.
Reuben, ranked First in the school by a clear margin, challenged William Smitherman, a ranked outsider. The match was expected to be such a massacre that Dr. Ronaldson questioned whether it should go ahead. One spectator was heard to say “Why would you make it a ranking game?” Will replied presciently “I want points when I win.”

The game started slowly, with the usual sparring resulting in only minor losses on each side. Suddenly the action began. Will issued a cheer. “I‘ve taken his Queen!” He celebrated like he had already won.
Will built momentum on the back of this success and took control of the match. Reuben, once a statue of confidence, had been reduced to playing sweaty chess. “I wasn’t concentrating” came the initial excuse (which he knew to be a lie). 
Will drove Reuben back, until he was under a constant threat of checkmate.  A great move from Reuben seemed to have brought him some time, yet Will used “chess knowledge” to crush Reuben’s hope of a revival. Reuben had taught Smitherman that a pawn could take a parallel piece when on the edge of the chess board, and Will now used it against him; the apprentice had become the master.


Reuben himself acknowledged Will’s superiority: “He’s played really well”.

Finally, after a three-pronged attack of two castles and a queen, Reuben was defeated. The celebrations began, Will Bird walked out of the room. Reuben was left to reflect on a crushing defeat.

Where does this great match leave us? For one, clearly vegetarianism leads to reduced cognitive function and inferior capabilities. Reuben does still head the chess rankings, but this defeat has shattered his image of invincibility and encouraged the chess underdogs to challenge him. Smitherman has moved up the rankings, and gone down in folklore as the victor of the greatest chess game the school has ever seen.

1 comment:

  1. This event is one of many, obviously proving Rebuen's mortality. It is important to mention also my incredible win over Reuben not too long ago, as well as defeats coming from Seb McCue and Tim Buckman. Why anyone would regard Reuben as a chess "god" is clearly beyond sane comprehension.

    Tim Bustin

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