A funny thing happened to me on my way to the chess match last night.
You never know what might happen in any chess game. Following the triumph of my ‘don’t make these mistakes’ presentation I offer another hard learned lesson from a bruising encounter with the the Big Mac’s A team this week.
Discovering that I was down to play was arguably my first blunder. I had ignored a message from Captain Phil asking for my assistance due to the late absence of one of his original picks (I know who you are, you *********.)
My attempt to avoid the match was in vain. I was press ganged into a car at night and driven via a complex route by the driver known as Fort Knox Dave for some reason. We picked up an accomplice of his somewhere to the south of Carlisle, and then doubled back to the Steppes of Macclesfield.
I was hustled to the imposing entrance hall of Macclesfield Liberals club, where my blindfold and handcuffs were removed. I was told I would be abandoned to my fate there if I did not cooperate and join the other conscripts.
I suspected something was wrong when I noting the icicles hanging from the mighty entrance gate. I was roughly manhandled up several flights of unlit stairs and pushed into a dimly lit room. Eventually assorted unkempt and shivering individuals shuffled in. Some set about moving ancient tables together and setting up chess boards and clocks. Others huddled together, whimpering with the cold around the puny heater which did not seem to be working.
You will not learn any of this from the heavily redacted version on the ECC official website. Oh, no.
We were saved from a painful death by freezing only because another consignment of pressed men was pushed roughly into the room, adding somewhat to the ambient temperature and the scent of nervous creatures fearing what they were about to face.
And so I played, compliant to the wishes of Captain Phil and his henchmen.
The great warriors of Macclesfield were about to savage their latest victims. One of our number, known as Sparticus John was determined to take down his mighty opponent, suckering him into a time trouble trick he had learned from Brother Dave Dave.
Another, Brother Brindle, wounded and finished off his opponent, and then Brother Stephen fought to a standstill securing an honourable draw.
I draw a veil over the losses suffered by Captain Phil and Fort Knox Dave.
ECC could still achieve a miraculous victory if I could only ….
But I couldn’t.
Or even draw.
My captors returned me to my home in silence. I was only marginally suffering physically. The frostbite is not requiring surgery, but the mental scars remain.