EX rank supporting role’s replay in a prestigious school - Chapter 96
- All Mangas
- EX rank supporting role’s replay in a prestigious school
- Chapter 96 - Chess Player (2)
Translator: Jimin Beom | Editor: NovelMultiverse
After going down to the stage, Me and Jin-seung Ma were guided by Stalemate staff and moved to the place where we would play.
Between the huge chess pieces created by Mr. Yong, several chess tables were arranged in two columns.
When I saw the chess table and chess clock, the realization that I had to play chess finally hit me.
‘It’s been a long time.’
The last time I played chess was in the fall of my third year of junior high school, at the final round of the World Junior Chess Championship hosted by the World Chess Federation(FIDE).
The first news I heard on my return to Korea after a 14-day tournament in Delhi, India, was the death of my family.
Immediately after the accident, the only thing my parents, who were barely conscious, said was, “Don’t tell Ui-shin,” and the coach who was with me in Delhi respected the will my parents had left.
By the time I returned home, the funeral was over.
The only thing I could do for my family was to go to the charnel house.
‘Objectively, it has nothing to do with chess.’
I could understand why my parents had left such a word, and why my coach had not told me.
I also accepted that there was no causal relationship between my playing chess and the death of my family.
I stopped objectifying, rationalizing, and blaming myself in my head, but I couldn’t play chess.
But now I was standing in front of the chessboard again.
I was pulled out from my thoughts at the loud voice of Jin-seung Ma, who looked nervous.
‘He was a playable character who often had an exclamation mark at the end of his sentence, and he actually has a loud voice.’
Although Jin-seung Ma was my senior, chess is a game of manners and morals, so it was an unspoken rule for chess players to greet each other politely.
After shaking hands with Jin-seung Ma between the chess tables, we sat down.
I came to my senses due to my playable character, who was once destined to die, in front of me.
‘No one knows what will happen in this world.’
This place was filled with various Gwanglims, Skills, and Enemies.
There are also forms of attacks that dig into the player’s mental weakness.
If you do not overcome your trauma, the initiative of your mentality may be stolen from you.
If I, with the skills such as ’Player Trajectory’ and ‘Power of Destiny’, fall into the hands of the villains, it would be difficult for the playable characters to deal with.
‘I can’t leave my mental weakness. I have to overcome it.’
That was what my brain was telling me, but my heart and body didn’t like that.
My head ached just looking at the chessboard.
The 64 squares were slowly changing shape.
“We will decide on black and white by throwing a coin.”
I snapped out of it thanks to the voice of the staff.
The staff threw a commemorative coin of the Stalemate Chess Tournament, which was also handed out to participants.
The coin throwing results were:
I was white, and Jin-seung Ma was black.
Which meant that I was first and he was next.
Je-gun Yong’s voice rang through the tournament stadium, but Jin-seung Ma did not move.
On the chess table was a chess clock that informed each chess player of the time limit given.
It’s customary for the Black to press the button of the chess clock when the start signal falls.
‘Why isn’t he doing anything?’
Of all the chess clocks there, the only clock that didn’t move was our table’s.
The chess clock, which was a combination of a digital clock and an hourglass that was traditionally used as a chess clock until the middle of the 19th century, was left unattended.
Je-gun Yong, who had moved silently behind me from the stage, said to Jin-seung Ma.
Jin-seung’s face went ‘Oops!’ and hurriedly reached out his hand toward the chess clock.
He even got confused at which clock to press, and Mr. Yong had to give him a hint with his eyes.
‘Jin-seung Ma is a novice player.’
Based on his actions in the game, Jin-seung preferred to use the body rather than his head.
He wasn’t all muscles and no brain like Hyo-don, but he didn’t seem like the type to like brain challenging games like this.
Why did Jin-seung participate in a chess tournament?
‘Because of Jun-yeoul Yeom?’
Yeah, he probably heard from somewhere that Jun-yeoul was participating and out of rivalry, he decided to enter too.
However, Jin-seung Ma is a chess newbie.
It’s likely that he studied Jun-yeoul’s game style, but other than that, he should be nothing more than a newbie.
‘Still, if I fight by the book, I can lose. I won’t be able to move, and lose due to time out.’
I haven’t made the first move yet, but my mind is a mess.
With the chessboard in front of me, the thought of playing a chess game soon clouded my mind.
I tried to calm down but the chessboard in front of my eyes began distorting.
‘I can’t last long in my condition now.’
Even so, I had to think about the best move I could make, the best strategy I could use.
My body condition now.
The character of JIn-seung Ma, the novice.
The White pieces.
I got it sorted out.
‘The chances aren’t that high, though.’
There’s a saying, ‘At the end of long deliberation is a bad move,’ but I hoped it wouldn’t turn out that way.
I moved the pawn on e2 to e4, and pressed the clock button.
With a small mechanical sound, my clock stopped and Jin-seung’s clock began to move.
‘Now what are you going to do?’
There are a variety of chess openings, but beginners often hear these two bits of advice.
First, take control of the center.
Second, forward placement of chess pieces.
If Jin-seung really crammed his chess knowledge at the last minute, he will move according to the two advice.
And he did, according to it, he placed his c7 pawn to c5.
The moment Jin-seung moved the chess piece and pressed the clock button,
I moved my bishop on f1 to c4 without hesitation and pressed the button on my side.
I could clearly see Jin-seung Ma thinking,
He took so long making his first move, why is he so fast now?
I wanted to at least pretend to smile at his expression, but my head was spinning so I just did nothing.
Like a textbook, Jin-seung decided to move his knight to the center.
Knight of b8 moved to c6.
‘This is it.’
I immediately moved my queen from d1 to h5.
As I pressed the chess clock and finished my turn, Jin-seung was visibly flustered.
It was a normal thing for beginners to be confused when the queen moves suddenly.
After taking his time, Jin-seung moved his knight from g8 to f6, trying to get my queen and pawn.[Read this novel and other amazing translated novels from the original source at the “Novel Multiverse dot com” website @ novelmultiverse.com]
Unless you stop the Knight, the Pawn or Queen will be caught on the next turn.
This way, the Queen, the most useful of the chess pieces, will be captured or he will take control of the center.
‘He has a strategy of his own, I am impressed.’
However, for the first time, I was able to face the chessboard and smile.
I caught the pawn on f7 with my queen on h4.
There are only four cases when a chess player is allowed to speak during a game.
First, when surrendering.
Second, when proposing a draw.
Third, when protesting against rule violations.
Fourth, when notifying checkmate to the opponent.
Jin-seung, who heard me, looked at the Queen’s position in bewilderment, but soon stiffened his face.
‘You see it now.’
The White Queen was in the middle of enemy lines and targeting the Black King directly.
The only thing that can catch the Queen of White in the current situation is the King of Black.
But the Queen of White is being protected by the Bishop of White.
Even if the King of Black catches the Queen of White, he gets caught by Bishop of White in the next turn.
That is, no matter what, the Black King dies.
Jin-seung Ma knocked his own King of black over the chessboard.
He sighed deeply, perhaps because he was defeated by only four moves, but admitted defeat and asked for a handshake.
When I shook his hand, he looked surprised.
“Hey…… Why are your hands so cold?”
He must’ve noticed the difference from the handshake we had before the game.
I just glossed over it and darted into the waiting room.
* * *
There are two games today.
The winner who survived the first match was scheduled to advance to the next round and face their opponent in a row.
‘Luckily, I finished it in four moves. But it won’t happen the next time.’
My next opponent is a person that beat the first round.
I couldn’t be optimistic.
While I was thinking about the next game, the door opened and Seung-hyun Park appeared.
He also must’ve quickly made a checkmate.
“Ui-shin, didn’t you leave almost as soon as you started? Did you do fool’s mate or scholar’s mate?”
In chess, there are some ways to beat your opponent in an instant.
One of the famous ones is fool’s mate, which defeats opponents in two moves.
Fool’s mate was only possible when the white moved their pawn forward without thinking.
‘I was white, so that was impossible.’
So I used the strategy where the queen and bishop targeted f7 at the same time.
Thus, what I used against Jin-seung Ma was a method to end the game in 4 moves; the scholar mate, also known as 4-move mate or lightning mate.
“I used scholar mate. I was lucky.”
“Yeah, that got me a few times when I first started playing chess. If you don’t learn annulling it in advance, it’s difficult to block it.”
In the game, Seung-hyun Park was bullied by the kids who got unfairly accepted in this school, so he was always depressed.
It was good to see Seung-hyun freely talking about his hobby.
Also, considering his ability, it was good for him to play chess.
‘It’s good for Seung-hyun Park to study chess.’
Seung-hyun was not that skilled in combat.
That didn’t mean he had an excellent insight or detection skills.
He was smart, but Suhyuk Joo or Dain An in his year was more brilliant, and in second grade, there was a crazy genius playable character named Dong-ha Cheon.
Still, Park Seung-hyun was one of the top-tier characters in the game.
‘Seung-hyun Park’s Gwanglim is a little constrained······, but it elevates the abilities of other players.’
There were lots of support-type Gwanglims, but Gwanglims that helps as much as Seung-hyun’s Gwanglim in battle were rare.
‘If Park Seung-hyun grows his ability to look at the forest instead of the tree, or makes habit of thinking about the next move, it will lead to the increase of power of the entire Eun-kwang High school.’
Listening to Seung-hyun’s chess story made my headache better and my hands warmer.
As the two of us chatted, there were more and more participants returning to the waiting room.
10 minutes after the last game.
The Stalemate’s staff came in and guided us back.
“Let us both survive and maybe compete together.”
Seung-hyun said that cheerfully so I did say yes, but could not guarantee it.
* * *
The next opponent was neither a playable character nor an NPC.
Garam Yeon in second-grade class 0.
She had all the second-grade class 0’s nametags on her uniform as if it was a way of them wishing her luck.
Garam Yeon had 20 or so names on her and had an unreadable expression.
In this world, she is known as the ace of the theater club, but in the game, she wasn’t even mentioned.
‘No information about her at all.’
She was also known as the master of psychological tricks or warfare, and like the word on the street, she was excellent in poker face.
In addition, unlike Jin-seung Ma, Garam Yeon seemed comfortable in front of the chessboard.
There is no information in the game, it is difficult to read her expression, and she is familiar with chess.
No more tricks like scholar’s mate this time.
I tried to think of a strategy, but none came.
‘I just have to do it and figure it out as I go.’
I kinda gave up and made up my mind.
“We will decide on black and white by throwing a coin.”
The staff of Stalemate threw the coin.
I was white, and my opponent was black again this time.
Je-gun’s voice announcing the start flowed into my ears along with tinnitus.
I put my pawn forward the moment Garam Yeon pressed the clock button.
Garam made her move after some careful thinking.
I also made my move on the now distorted chessboard.
We made 20 moves like that.
‘The world is spinning in black and white……’
My eyesight seemed to fail me.
All objects began to lose color.
My hands were all black and white, and so was Garam Yeon.
I couldn’t think of what move to make, or even how to play chess.
I just wanted to surrender and run away.
‘Let’s hold on till the end, even if I get defeated by over-time!’
Thinking that, I glared at the distorted blob of a chessboard.
In the black and white world, time was ticking away.
The sand in my chess clock and the numbers were decreasing.
At this rate, I’ll spend all the time I’ve been given, and I’ll lose over time.
〈Skill ‘Power of Destiny’ has been activated.〉
Power of Destiny?
I can’t react to it in this state.
Light flashed before my eyes with the sound of the system’s alarm.
Something flashed above Garam Yeon.
I looked up reflexively.
Then, for the first time, I saw the audience seats on the second floor.
I saw the space Je-gun Yong had created like opera seats on the second floor.
Beyond the space blocks.
I could see my first-grade class 0 classmates.[Read this novel and other amazing translated novels from the original source at the “Novel Multiverse dot com” website @ novelmultiverse.com]